We were incredibly proud to hear of Alex’s appointment as Chief Fire Officer for South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (SYFRS).
Alex joined Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service as a Firefighter in 1992 aged 24. This was at a time when less than 1% of the UK’s firefighters were women (The Guardian, 2019). She worked her way up the ranks and was promoted to Deputy Chief Fire Officer at SYFRS in 2017.
‘I’m delighted and proud to be appointed as the next Chief Fire Officer of South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service. I’m grateful to both Derbyshire and South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service’s who have constantly believed in me and given me such great opportunities.’—Alex Johnson
There are currently just seven women in post as Chief Fire Officers on the National Fire Chief’s Council. These are Sabrina Cohen-Hatton, Rebecca Bryant, Dany Cotton, Ann Millington, Joanne Turton, Dawn Whittaker and Alex Johnson. Alex officially takes over the role in January 2020.
Alex has been a Committee Member of Women in the Fire Service UK for many years. An important part of her work has been to inspire and encourage women in the sector to be their best. Playing a pivotal role at our annual WFS National Training and Development Events, she attended her first Women in the Fire Service Conference in 1994.
‘I am especially thankful to Women in the Fire Service and the WFS National Committee Members. Without the support and words of wisdom from strong and inspirational women such as Cheryl Rolph and Dany Cotton; I’m not convinced I would be where I am today.
For those looking for a career in the fire and rescue service, or aspiring to try different roles, have the self-belief to take on new challenges and have a go. Join in with groups and networks too, that can really help build your self confidence.’—Alex Johnson
Alex received Most Influential Woman in Fire award at the Excellence in Fire & Emergency Awards this December. She was also Leadership Excellence runner-up in the Guardian Public Service Awards in November 2019.