Our Service Leadership Team in Surrey Fire and Rescue

We think it's really important to ensure all aspects are covered when discussing the direction for Surrey Fire and Rescue Service which is why our Service Leadership Team (SLT) is so diverse with such a wide variety of skills and backgrounds.

Here's a brief intro to SLT at Surrey Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS).

Headshot of Steve Owen-Hughes

Chief Fire Officer, Steve Owen-Hughes MBE DL

Steve leads reform, transformation and cultural change for the Community Protection Group (CPG) services at Surrey County Council. CPG is made up of Surrey Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS), Surrey's Emergency Planning, the Coroners Service, Trading Standards, the local Civilian Military Partnership (which includes being a Armed Forces Champion), Corporate Health and Safety, and the Community Resilience team. This is achieved this by working in partnership with other blue light agencies and local partners to deliver a citizen centred service.

He is also a Level 4 and Gold Commander leading the response to major incidents and Chairs the Surrey Local Resilience Forum.

Steve served in the military and across defence and other Government departments, in operational, training and advisory roles as well as a Firefighter for over 30 years. He also serves on various national committees and is an active member of the National Fire Chiefs Council and President of the British Fire Services Association.

Steve said, "My favourite part of my job is the variety of it and getting to work with so many brilliant people – both inside our organisation but also our great partners too. We work closely with blue light colleagues because we all have the same aim – to keep people safe."


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Deputy Director of Community Protection, Sarah Kershaw

Sarah joined SFRS in 2019 after having worked in Highways, Transport and Environment in various business and change roles. She has a background in commercial law with significant experience of transforming businesses and change management.

She's specifically responsible for programme/project management, communications, our inspection programmes, legal, business support, people and finally intelligence and assurance within SFRS. She is also the Deputy Director of the Community Protection Group, which includes being being Head of the Coroners Service.

Sarah said: "My favourite part of work is the people. Not only do I enjoy working for such great services but also knowing that what we do makes such a big impact on the safety of everyone who lives, works and travels through Surrey."


Headshot of Dan Quin

Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Dan Quin

Dan joined SFRS in 1999 as a Firefighter at Leatherhead Fire Station and since then he has worked in a number of teams including Training and Development, Corporate Planning and Improvement, Operational Assurance, Operational Development and Mobilising Control.

His current role means that he's responsible for supporting the day-to-day running of the service, health and safety, planning the organisations direction and how it will achieve, and engage with partners to join up ways of working, align thinking, look for external changes and influences.

He is also the National Fire Chiefs Council Lead for Transportation – Road and the Vice-Chair of the United Kingdom Rescue Organisation.

Dan said, "My favourite part of the working at SFRS is working with and alongside our team. A group of individuals who every day, across all areas of the service, aspire to help others, putting others before themselves. The opportunity to work with like-minded people, knowing that we are all doing good and the right thing, even if difficult, is a real motivator. I am proud of everyone and our service."


Roger Childs

Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Roger Childs

Roger joined SFRS in 1997 as a firefighter and developed through the ranks to this current position.

Within his portfolio he's responsible for Response, Community Resilience and Logistics and he supports the Chief Fire Officer in his absence providing visible leadership for the service to match the values, behaviours and expectations of the leadership and the public.

Roger said: "I'm most proud of the work everyone here does and everything that we, as a whole service, achieve. People are kept safe as a result of the contribution of every single person in this service and I am extremely honoured to work with them."


Headshot of Bernie Beckett

Transformation Programme Manager, Bernadette Beckett

Bernie joined SFRS in June 2019 after working in Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS), Essex Fire and Rescue Service, NHS, Parole Board and other local authorities.

Her role here is spread across the Community Protection Group (CPG) which includes SFRS, Trading Standards, Emergency Management, SCC Community Resilience, Armed Forces Covenant and Coroners Service. Bernie is responsible for the overall delivery of the improvement projects within the Transformation Programme and all the reporting on progress, the Transformation budget and deputising for the Deputy Director of CPG.

Bernie said: "I am really proud to work here, I enjoy getting out and about to talk to all the different teams within the service most. It's great to hear everyone's experiences, point of views and work with them on how we can improve services and involve them throughout."


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Head of Data, Digital and Specialist Projects, Sally Wilson

Sally has worked for SFRS since 2000 and during this time she has worked with colleagues within the sector on improvement frameworks, performance, data, risk management and I have worked with suppliers on digital delivery.

Within my role in SFRS I am responsible for Joint Fire Control, the Digital Strategy and related IT projects, performance management, data compliance, governance and intelligence to support business planning and project delivery.

The specialist projects element currently relates to extending our Joint Fire Control (JFC) to include East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service. This follows the successful implementation of JFC across Surrey and West Sussex in December 2019.

Sally said: "I love the collaborative element of my role. Working together we achieve high quality outcomes for the benefit of our communities. This is only possible by working together, sharing ideas, and combining our skills to achieve a common goal."


Headshot of Danni Lamaignere

People and Organisational Development (OD) Lead, Danni Lamaignere

Danni joined our service in 2015, after having previously worked at the World Wildlife Fund and The British Refugee Council. She has had experience of working in varying HR roles mostly in public and charity sectors, at both strategic and operational level. She has an LLB in Law (with European Legal studies) and spent the third year of her degree in the Netherlands studying European Law. Whilst working in HR and OD she attained her post-graduate diploma in Human Resource Management and is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development.

In her current role, Danni ensures she and her team deliver the People Strategy for the service ensuring its alignment with the Making Surrey Safer Plan and overall service's vision and values.

Danni said: "My whole role centers around people and I feel grateful to work with such wonderful and diverse people. Especially those who are really striving to develop our workplace to ensure it is an open, inclusive and all round better place."


Headshot of Mick Thompson

Area Commander responsible for Operational Excellence, Mick Thompson

Mick joined SFRS from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service in 2020. He started working in the city of Southampton in many roles from firefighter to Group Commander. He also served at the Warsash Maritme Academy as a live fire instructor. More recently he led teams in Learning and Development, The New Forest and Portsmouth Groups.

His current role of Area Commander Operational Excellence includes strategic responsibility for the enabling functions within the service; learning and development, health, safety and wellbeing, operational assurance, emergency planning and employee relations.

Mick said, "Since joining SFRS I have really enjoyed meeting and working with some amazing people and teams and being part of an organisation committed to working hard to support communities and constantly improving."


Headshot of Dave Pike

Area Commander responsible for Operations, Dave Pike

Dave's career has been dedicated to UK Fire and Rescue Services. His contribution to SFRS started in 2020 however his wider fire and rescue career has been varied. He previously worked in Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service, having joined as a firefighter in 1995. Since then he worked across the county in a variety of roles and departments covering Logistics and Technical support, Community Risk, Operational Response, Business Planning and more recently been responsible for Training and Development and Human Resources.

His current role includes leading in the development and implementation of SFRS' Service Delivery function in-line with local, regional and national aspirations and providing strategic leadership and support.

Dave said, "My favourite things about working for SFRS include: my colleagues, working for those in the community who needs us most and the positive impact we have on the community. I am committed to working alongside colleagues from across the service to provide stability."


Headshot of Damian Watts

Area Commander responsible for Community Resilience, Damian Watts

Damian started his fire and rescue service journey in 1998 in Hampshire, spending 21 years there. After passing out as a firefighter at 28 years old, he spent several years learning before being promoted through the junior officer ranks on station, finally ending up at Training Centre. His later posts included Station Manager in Protection and Fire Investigation.

During this time, Damian also undertook a Fire Engineering degree and Fire Investigation MSc. The MSc research was focused on Poly Aromatic Hydrocarbons and Cancer in firefighters was published in the respected scientific journal Nature. It was the first UK fire led research paper published in the UK. He was then promoted to Group Manager on the Isle of Wight, from there he joined Surrey as the Prevention Lead.

Now he's our Area Commander for Community Resilience leading our prevention and protection teams.

Damian said: "There will always be difficult times but knowing the good we can do will always carry us through. I am immensely proud of all our teams but particularly those that I lead in Community Resilience. Their passion and dedication is my favourite part of SFRS."


Headshot of Rory Coulter

Head of Logistics, Rory Coulter

Rory joined SFRS in 2005 after previously working in Northern Ireland Fire Brigade for 15 years. He started as a vehicle technician and by 1999 became the fleet manager.

In SFRS he's responsible for the Logistics Team which delivers vehicles, equipment, infrastructure, hydrants, general stores and uniform, along with research and development.

Rory said: "As my life has evolved around engineering of almost any form, one of my favourite things about working at SFRS is the process of finding and bringing into the service fantastic assets. As a result, our people have the best tools allowing them to do their job safely and efficiently, which ultimately keeps people safe."