Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton, Chief Fire Officer at West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service
Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton certainly knows a thing or two about how to survive and thrive when the heat is on. Her story is a powerful reminder that it's your determination, brains and empathy - rather than your circumstances - which dictate how successful you become.
As one of the most senior firefighters in the UK, Sabrina took charge of the service’s response to terror attacks in Finsbury Park and Westminster in London in 2017. She decides which of her colleagues rush into a burning building and how they confront the blaze. She makes the call to evacuate if the situation has escalated beyond hope. She is also a prize-winning academic and author of a book on life-and-death decision-making.
Sabrina’s list of achievements is all the more astonishing because she spent her teenage years sleeping rough. Aged 15, she was homeless and selling The Big Issue whilst taking her GSCEs. Through grit and determination she turned her life around and at 18 joined the fire service in Wales.
While climbing the ranks, she did a degree in psychology at the Open University, eventually completing a PhD in the behavioural neuroscience lab at Cardiff University. Her groundbreaking research has now influenced global policy across all emergency services.
As a guest speaker at Brighton Base Camp, Sabrina will tell us what she has learnt about how we respond in our most extreme moments and how we can apply this to critical decision-making. She’ll immerse us in the extraordinary world of firefighting; from scenes of devastation and crisis to triumphs of bravery. Most importantly, she’ll tell us a story of succeeding against the odds, overcoming huge obstacles and turning setbacks into opportunities.
Copy By Lauren Psyk.