Dany Cotton, QFSM (born 11 June 1969) is a British firefighter. Since 2017, she has served as the Commissioner of the London Fire Brigade and is the first woman to hold this position. She had previously been the Director of Safety and Assurance at the London Fire Brigade. In 2004 Cotton became the first woman to be awarded the Queen's Fire Service Medal. She is the National Chair of Networking Women in the Fire Service.
|Commissioner of London Fire Brigade|
1 January 2017
|Preceded by||Ron Dobson|
|Born|| 11 June 1969
London United Kingdom
Cotton joined in 1988, her first placement was at Wimbledon Fire Station. Aged 19, she had been a full fire-fighter for just three months when she attended the Clapham Junction rail crash. In 2007, she was assigned the post of Area Commander, becoming the highest-ranking woman in the British Fire Service. In 2010, she became Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the London Fire Brigade and in 2012 Assistant Commissioner.
In September 2016, Cotton was appointed interim Commissioner of the London Fire Brigade following the retirement of Ron Dobson. She took up the position on 1 January 2017. Cotton's official title will remain "Interim Commissioner" pending a restructure of the Brigade later in 2017, at which point she will become full "Commissioner".
On 14 June 2017, Cotton was called out in the middle of the night to take charge of the London Fire Brigade's response to the massive Grenfell Tower fire which she described as "An unprecedented incident." She appeared at several media briefings to give updates on casualty figures, challenges faced and firefighters' progress.
In October 2017 she highlighted Fireman Sam in a campaign fighting sexism and promoting the gender-neutral term firefighter. She proposed that the children's character should be renamed Firefighter Sam. Cotton said that research showed that women are put off a career in the fire service because it is seen as a job for men, and that as Fireman Sam is seen by children from an early age, the name reinforces this stereotype.
In 2002, Cotton was named Outstanding Public Servant of the year. In the 2004 New Year Honours, Cotton became the first woman to be awarded the Queen's Fire Service Medal, given "for distinguished service." On 30 October 2008, she was awarded the Fire Brigade Long Service and Good Conduct Medal.
|Queen's Fire Service Medal (QFSM)||
|Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal||
|Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal||
|Fire Brigade Long Service and Good Conduct Medal||October 2008|
|Commissioner of London Fire Brigade