Ron Dobson pictured with Dany Cotton who took over as London Fire Commissioner on 1 January.

Dany Cotton has become London’s first female Fire Commissioner, following the departure of Ron Dobson who held the position for nearly a decade, and after 37 years’ service to the capital.

Ron Dobson’s final year coincided with London Fire Brigade’s 150th anniversary and he is the 18th Commissioner in the Brigade’s history.  “Celebrating our 150th anniversary throughout 2016 was a privilege and one of many highlights of my 37 years at the Brigade.”

During his period as Commissioner, the number of fire incidents dropped by 37 per cent with fire deaths on a ten-year downward trend. One of his final acts was to publish the draft London Safety Plan, which includes proposals to expand the Brigade’s capacity to respond to terrorist incidents.

“The role of a firefighter in 2016 is a world away from when our great organisation was born 150 years ago and our plan reflects the varied job we do every day to protect Londoners. We need to plan for the very worst. Even though we hope it never happens, we must prepare our firefighters to be part of the response to a terrorist incident.”

Dobson (57) was awarded with the Queen’s Fire Service Medal in 2005 and was awarded the CBE in 2011. “There are still challenges such as increasing the diversity of operational firefighters in London. In these nine years we have made some significant progress, but there is more to be done.”