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Last updated: 30/11/2018, 3:01 PM

Daughter follows in Dad’s footsteps and joins London Fire Brigade

30/11/2018 10:42
Our people

Following on from Dad joining the Brigade 30 years ago, Borough Commander John Simpson’s daughter Sophie has joined as a Fire Engineer Technician.

Sophie joined the Fire Engineering team in early November. Father and daughter were both working for the Brigade for a week before dad hung up his helmet and retired.

Making Dad proud

Sophie, who graduated in chemical engineering from Loughborough University is excited to join the Fire Engineering team. She said: “We finally got to wear the same uniform. My Dad has been embarrassingly proud of me.

“Growing up I always saw my Dad rushing off at a moment’s notice to incidents. No matter how difficult or challenging it might have been at times, he was always keen to get into work. He loved his career in the Brigade. It’s a work ethic that inspired me and it certainly encouraged me to work somewhere that had made my Dad so happy.”

"Seeing senior women working in this sector gave me confidence"

Sophie liked maths and science at school so a job in engineering was something she aspired to. Traditionally engineering has been a male dominated area but it didn’t put Sophie off applying. She said: “To see both the Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton and the Joint Head of Fire Engineering Group Lynsey Seal in their senior roles gave me confidence that it’s possible to work in this sector. It also spoke volumes about the possibilities of climbing the career ladder – both of them just happen to be women.”


The 'Simpson' legacy lives on

Sophie adds: “Dad might have left the Brigade after three decades but the Simpson legacy lives on, our family is not leaving the Brigade just yet. My younger brother is studying chemistry at university, who knows he may well choose to join the Brigade too.”

The Fire Engineering Group’s work is a crucial part of fire safety helping to protect the public and making buildings safe. As part of the Fire Safety Department they act as internal consultants to fire safety colleagues, and other departments within the Brigade, as well as providing advice and input on external technical groups and projects.

Encouraging men and women to take up engineering

Lynsey Seal, Joint Head of Fire Engineering Group said: “It’s great to welcome Sophie to the team. As well as being qualified engineers we are all trained fire safety officers. There is still work to do on encouraging more women to take up roles in engineering but I’m pleased that our team has almost 30% female engineers. Our team are involved in various projects to encourage greater diversity in the next generation of engineers. I’m thrilled that Sophie has already helped achieve this by visiting her primary school to inspire, educate and encourage all the pupils to consider engineering as a career option.”