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.

In 2011, Dany was voted among the most influential women in London and in 2004 was awarded the Queen's Fire Service Medal. 

Dany took charge of London Fire Brigade in January 2017.


Dave Brown QFSM, Director of Operations

Dave joined the Brigade in 1985 and served at a number of fire stations in the North East as a firefighter, officer, borough commander and after spells in Strategy and Performance and then Training, Dave became a principal manager in 2006.

Dave is now responsible for all aspects of operations at London's fire stations; the 999 mobilising function at Brigade Control in Merton; and all regulatory and community safety and youth engagement activities in London.

In 2012, during the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games, Dave oversaw the forty pump fire at a recycling plant on Chequers Lane in Dagenham; one of the biggest fires in London for many years.

Dave has a BSc in Fire Command and was awarded the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal in 2005. He received the Queen's Fire Service Medal in 2015 .


Steve Apter, Interim 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.