London Fire Brigade

Senior management team

Dany Cotton QFSM, Commissioner

Dany joined the fire service in 1988 and has since gone on to become one of the highest ranking women firefighters in Europe.

Dany has attended many high profile operational incidents including the Clapham train crash in 1988 and was the Incident Commander for the Dagenham recycling centre fire, which happened on the day of the 2012 Olympic closing ceremony and had 40 fire engines and more than 200 firefighters in attendance. This blaze was the largest operational incident for the Brigade since 1970s.

In 2004, Dany was awarded the Queen's Fire Service Medal and in 2011 was voted among the most influential women in London. She took charge of London Fire Brigade in January 2017.


Tom George, Director of Operations

Tom joined the fire service at the age of 18. After eight years as a firefighter at Ealing fire station he moved to Acton, then on to Wembley, Feltham, Heathrow, and Kentish Town.

He has held a number of different roles in the 30 years since he joined London Fire Brigade, including Borough Commander for Barnet, Head of Community Safety, Deputy Assistant Commissioner for the south-west area, and Assistant Commissioner for Operational Response.

Tom has attended several significant incidents including the 7/7 London bombings, the 2008 Camden Market fire and the Buncefield oil refinery fire.


Steve Apter, Director of Safety and Assurance

Steve began his career in 1990 as a retained firefighter for the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service before going full-time a year later.

Steve climbed the ranks to become Chief Fire Officer before moving to Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service to be the Director of Community Safety and Resilience.

After an eight month secondment to East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service as Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Steve returned to Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service before later joining London Fire Brigade in December 2016.


Sue Budden, Director of Finance and Contractual Services

Sue began her career at Coopers and Lybrand (now Price Waterhouse Coopers), in Norwich, as a public sector auditor at the start of their development of public sector work.

After moving to London, Sue worked in local government while completing her CIPFA qualification - working for Westminster, Southwark, and Hackney councils.

In 2000, Sue took up senior positions at the Office of Fair Trading and then the Cabinet Office, heading up both finance departments, before progressing to Director of Finance and Corporate Services at the British Transport Police (BTP). Sue left BTP to join the Brigade as Head of Finance in 2006.