Dany Cotton – Chair
Dany Cotton is a Commissioner of London Fire Brigade. She joined the fire service in 1988, aged 18 after leaving college having studied for A levels. She attained her first rank of promotion after serving 7 years as an operational firefighter. Since then she has gone on to become one of the highest ranking woman firefighters in Europe. She has served at several fire stations and in different departments, and commenced her role as Interim Commissioner of LFB on 1st January 2017. She has been involved with WFS since 1998 and had been Chair for 6 years before being elected again in 2013. Dany was awarded the Queen’s Fire Service medal in the New Year’s Honours list January 2004, was Public Servant of the Year in 2002 , the winner of the First Women Award in the category of the Public Sector 2014 and the Most Influential Women in Fire in 2015. She regularly represents the London Fire Brigade at national and international events and consistently strives to promote opportunities for women in the fire service. Outside of work her hobbies include mountain biking, fitness training, skiing and watching British Touring Cars.
Jules Gilbert-King – Vice Chair (Learning & Development)
I work for East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service (ESFRS) and am also one of the Vice Chairs of Women in the Fire Service and am the portfolio holder for Learning and Development. Within ESFRS I am the Borough Commander for Hastings and Rother which covers approximately one third of East Sussex and has 7 Fire Stations including shift, day crewed and retained duty staff.
I have been involved in WFS for the last 16 years and before that I regularly attended the conferences organised at the Fire Service College and other Services. I also attended the very first NWFS conference at the college in 1996.
I joined the Fire & Rescue Service in 1994, originally being posted to Eastbourne Fire station. Since then I have worked at various locations across the County in different roles. In 2002, I was promoted to Station Manager for Crowborough and Forest Row, and then transferred to Station manager for Wadhurst, Mayfield, Heathfield and Burwash in 2005.
I was appointed as the Borough Commander for Hastings in 2006 which was part of a new Borough Structure introduced in East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service. In 2009 I became the Borough Commander for Eastbourne where I stayed for 3 years before taking a sideways move into Headquarters and worked as the lead Fire Investigation Officer for the Service for 18 months. In June 2013, I then moved into the role as Command and Operational Manager within Learning and Organisational Development. I moved into my most recent role in May 2016.
I am also part of a Professional Women’s Group in East Sussex which supports and compliments the work of WFS.
Away from work, I love being outdoors and spend many happy hours on the South Downs with my family and Springer Spaniel, Frankie. I also play hockey for a local team and am a keen football fan. I also enjoy running and cycling.
Caroline Anderson – Vice Chair (Projects)
I joined as a retained firefighter in January 2004 and soon realised that the Fire Service was where I wanted to work and so left my job as a legal secretary and began my career in Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service. In 2010 I secured a secondment at Service Headquarters in the Equality and Diversity Department as a Project Officer, the first task being to attend the NWFS Training and Development weekend in Newcastle. I was so inspired by the weekend and the enthusiasm and professionalism of the people I met that I became a Regional Rep there and then!
Within my Project Officer role I was also tasked to explore and develop the idea of a women’s network within my own organisation and in January 2011 WANDS (Women’s Action Network in Devon and Somerset) was launched offering support and encouragement to employees within Devon and Somerset. Later, Devon and Somerset hosted the 2012 Training and Development weekend which led me to become South West Regional Representative and in 2015 honoured to be offered Vice-Chair Project Officer for the WFS.
I have worked within many different departments including Group Support, Children and Young Persons Team and Road Safety Teams. I live in North Devon and am currently Workforce Diversity Project Officer within the Organisational Development team and still loving my career.
Louise Brown – HR Advisor
Louise is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD) and worked for Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service for over 12 years, leaving in November 2016 to pursue other challenges. She has extensive HR experience in all fire service related matters having worked her way up from being an HR Administrator to a Senior HR Partner. She became an Honorary Officer in 2012 and believes in WFS so much she couldn’t bear to leave it when she changed employer! She is a big advocate of supporting the development of women and believes that with encouragement and support that people can achieve anything they want to. Louise achieved a Masters in Human Resource Management in 2016 and has an almost unhealthy addiction to learning (she keeps promising that she will not do a PHD, we’ll see). She now works as an HR Consultant for Citation Professional Solutions.
Louise enjoys camping, listening to music, playing the piano and going to the theatre. She’s also quite fond of cats.
Amy Webb – Treasurer
Amy is an ACCA qualified accountant with a range of financial experience in both public and private sector from SME to multinational companies and Head of Finance, Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service.
Recently she has been responsible for managing the finances at Devon and Somerset Fire & Rescue service which brings a variety of interesting challenges to the day job. Amy is actively involved in the strategic leadership of the organisation working with the board and has been developing her skills in leading, coaching and mentoring through the Glass Lift Elevate Programme, a training course specifically designed for women. Passionate about equal rights and an advocate for diversity in all sectors,
Amy joined WFS in 2016 in order to become engaged with the network and offer her skills at the Executive Level whilst promoting diversity locally and nationally. She is also Treasurer for a local charity, The Exeter Drugs Project.
In down time, Amy really enjoys cooking (and eating!) spicy vegan food, going to festivals and gigs and most recently has joined a band of her own.
Nicola Lown – Regional Support & International
Nicola left college with a Diploma for Medical Secretaries in 1988 and moved to London where she lived in the West End and worked at University College Hospital as a medical secretary. She finished her career as PA to the Professor of Neonatal Medicine at the Hammersmith Hospital and joined the London Fire Brigade in January 1995. There she served as a firefighter and then crew manager until she transferred to Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service in January 2001 as a sub officer and then as a Watch Manager.
Nicola was also seconded from December 2007 for 3 years at the Fire Service College as a station manager in the Incident Command Team and then returned to the London Fire Brigade in 2013 where she is now a flexi-duty station manager in the Strategy and Inclusion Team.
Her hobbies include cycling, diving and skiing and she plans to continue travelling to as many places as her rota and funds allow.