London Fire Brigade

Senior management team

Ron Dobson CBE, QFSM, FIFireE, Commissioner

Ron Dobson became London Fire Commissioner in 2007 having risen through the ranks since joining the Brigade in 1979.

In 1996 as Divisional Commander, Ron was one of the first senior officers at the scene of the Canary Wharf bomb blast where he coordinated the painstaking search of the incident. 

He has been central to the preparations for responding to the threat of terrorism, working closely with the government and our partners. During the 2005 London bombings he was the Brigade’s Senior Operational Commander.

Ron was awarded the Queen's Fire Service Medal in 2005 and was awarded a CBE in the 2011 New Year honours.

Rita Dexter OBE, Deputy Commissioner

Rita Dexter joined the Brigade as Director of Corporate Services in 2001, where she was responsible for legal and democratic services, communications, strategy and performance and Information Technology. She was promoted to Deputy Commissioner in November 2009.

Aged 16, Rita began her local authority career as a junior clerk in 1979 at Birmingham City Council. In 1993 she moved on to work at the Department of the Environment, where she specialised in the powers and duties of local authorities.

In 1995 she joined Barnet Council where she spent six years. She left Barnet Council as the Deputy Chief Executive to join the Brigade.

In 2013 Rita was awarded the OBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list.

Gary Reason, QFSM, Director of Operational Resilience and Training

Gary Reason joined the London Fire Brigade as a fire fighter in 1984. Since then he has accrued a wealth of experience, representing the Brigade at Gold level, managing operations at some of London’s most challenging incidents, and acting as lead officer during the Inquests covering the 7 July 2005 London bombings

In his numerous Head of Service roles as Assistant Commissioner, Gary oversaw the training requirements of the Brigade’s 7000 staff and the national training requirements for specialist resilience capabilities across the country. Gary also had responsibility for managing London Fire Brigade’s planning and operational preparedness for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, helping to lead and coordinate the UK Fire and Rescue Service in delivering a safe and secure Games.

As Director of Operational Resilience and Training, Gary manages the Brigade’s operational and emergency planning, operational procedures, operational assurance, health and safety, human resources and staff development, and the development of new response capabilities for terrorist threats.

Gary was awarded the Queen's Fire Service Medal in the 2013 New Year honours list for his hard work and commitment to the Brigade and to London as a whole.

Sue Budden, Director of Finance and Contractual Services

Sue Budden joined the Brigade as Head of Finance in 2006. She began her career at Coopers and Lybrand in Norwich (now Price Waterhouse Coopers) as a public sector auditor at the start of their development of public sector work. Sue then moved to London to work in local government while completing her CIPFA qualification, working at Westminster, Southwark and Hackney councils.

In 2000 Sue took up senior positions at the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and from there to the Cabinet Office heading up both finance departments, before progressing to Director of Finance and Corporate Services at the British Transport Police (BTP). She left BTP to join the Brigade.

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