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Jim Fitzpatrick 

Jim Fitzpatrick was born and raised in Glasgow where he attended Holyrood R.C. Secondary School.

Jim’s first job was with a local firm as a trainee before moving to London in 1973. In 1974 he became a firefighter with the London  Fire Brigade and after 20 years service he was awarded the Fire  Brigade Long Service and Good Conduct Medal.

On 1st May 1997 Jim was elected Member of Parliament for Poplar and Canning Town, he held this seat until his retirement in November 2019. During government he was Minister of State for Farming and the Environment, Under- Secretary of State of Transport, Parliamentary under Secretary of State at the Department of Trade and Industry, Under Secretary of State at the office of the Deputy Prime Minister, Government Whip and Minister for London. Following boundary changes Poplar and Canning Town was renamed Poplar and Limehouse for the 2010 election. He is Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Primary Headache Disorders, Vice Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Bangladesh, All-Party Group on Animal Welfare, All-Party Group on Housing and All-Party Group on Air Ambulances.

Jim has a keen interest in regeneration, poverty, women’s rights, the emergency services and sport. He’s President of Millwall Rugby Club, Poplar and Blackwall Rowing Club, Poplar Bowls and a keen supporter of local charities such as Tower Hamlets Foodbank and Neighbours in Poplar.

Jim became Chair of FIRE AID in March 2014.


Steve Apter, Trustee

Steve started his career in 1991 as a retained firefighter with the Isle of Wight Fire Service and climbed the ranks becoming Chief Fire Officer in 2011. In 2015, Steve was appointed Director of Community Safety & Resilience with Hampshire Fire Service.  He was seconded into East Sussex Fire Service as Deputy Chief Fire Officer. December 2016 he was appointed Director of Safety & Assurance with London Fire Brigade (LFB), one of the largest Fire and Rescue Services in the world.

Steve led the strategic response of LFB to the Westminster Bridge terror attack and responsible for the Strategic Response Arrangements and Gold response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy.  He is the National Fire Chiefs Council deputy strategic lead on counter terrorism issues and leads Nationally on CBRNe issues.

Steve has a Masters degree in Leadership and completed the Executive Leadership programme for strategic leaders in the Fire Service.

In addition he has been a volunteer with UKRO (and its previous guises) for over 25 years and Chair since 2010. In 2017, UKRO became a registered Charity. Steve was Chair of the World Rescue Organisation from 2013-2015.  He is passionate for international development and advancing professional rescue, and is proud of the role UKRO plays with colleagues from other aid organisations to support the global road safety agenda.

Adrian Brown, Trustee

Adrian started his fire service career with East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service in 1985, since then he has undertaken most roles within the service, spending most of his time within the fire safety and community safety departments, but with an operational commitment.  Following the double firefighter fatality in 2006, Adrian undertook the role of the lead investigator into this accident.  Rising through the ranks to Director of Response & Resilience, he undertook a number of roles within CFOA including chairing the Regional community fire safety group, Regional representative on the national command and control user group and chairing the national compressed air foam user group.  With his wide range of experience around incident command, Adrian was seconded to the National Operational Guidance team as Senior Supplier for the incident command guidance.

On retirement Adrian undertakes a number of charity roles including Operation Florian and he is also the Chair of the East Sussex County Scout Council.  Adrian’s additional experience as a Chair of Governor in a large Secondary School and over 30 years with a youth movement makes him the ideal trustee to with responsibility for safeguarding.

Emma MacLennan, Deputy Chair and Trustee 

Emma is the founder and Director of UK charity Eastern Alliance for Safe and Sustainable Transport (EASST). She is also the Alumni Organiser of the Delft University/FIA Foundation Global Road Safety Programme and a member of their Board, having run the FIA Foundation Road Safety Scholarships from 2009-2014. She a founder member and Deputy Chair of FIRE AID, and President of Make Roads Safe Hellas. Emma is an Advisor to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Moldova in the UK Parliament, and a Special Advisor to the Rt Hon the Lord Robertson of Port Ellen. From 1999 to January 2008 she was Director of the John Smith Memorial Trust, a good governance programme sponsored by the UK Ministry of Justice and aimed at talented young leaders from the former Soviet Union. Prior to this she was Advisor to the Rt Hon Chris Smith MP (now Lord Smith); to the late, Rt Hon Donald Dewar QC, MP; Policy Officer on Social Security and Taxation for the UK Labour Party working closely with the Rt Hon John Smith QC, MP; a member of the Commission on Social Justice; and Deputy Director of the Low Pay Unit that succeeded in its campaign in the UK for a national, legal minimum wage. She has extensive experience as an expert in donor-funded road safety projects in EASST’s countries of operation.

Ron Morley, Trustee

Ron has been an active volunteer for UK charity Staffordshire Emergency Services Humanitarian Aid Association (SESHAA) since 1996, participating in humanitarian projects around the world, most recently as a Trauma Instructor in Tajikistan.

Ron served at Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service for 37 years. He is a registered occupational health advisor and has a Bachelor degree in Education and a Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology. He has previously undertaken PHTLS, PHECC and expedition medicine training and is currently on the NMC nursing register. During his SESHAA service, he has been both a trauma and rope access instructor, in addition to being Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Services occupational health advisor. His main interest is the psychological support and stress reduction for personnel involved in rescue and humanitarian aid projects.Ron’s outdoor experience includes being a Mountain Leader and Kayak coach and he has been actively involved in expedition training with both fire service personnel and college students. He is a member of the IFE and a registered BACP counsellor/ psychotherapist.  Ron is currently a part time college lecturer. He represents SESHAA on the FIRE AID Board of Trustees.

Gary Bennett

Gary worked in the fire service as a Station Officer for 12 years with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service before completing his MSc in Fire Engineering and starting his own company in 2004, which now employs over 12 people. Gary is the founder of SERA who started volunteering for one of our FIRE AID members, Blythswood Care in 1998 where he drove vehicles of aid each year on their behalf into Eastern Europe.


Claire Hoyland

FIRE AID’s activities are directed and coordinated by Claire Hoyland an employee of UK charity EASST. Claire’s responsibilities at FIRE AID and EASST include the coordination and delivery of a range of projects, activities, and events across Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia, helping to improve emergency response and road safety.

Claire joined FIRE AID and EASST in 2018. She graduated with a Business degree from the Open University whilst travelling extensively and working on various international development projects, including a road safety project with the Ugandan Red Cross Society.

Claire joins us from the national food redistribution charity FareShare, where she developed and managed a project that saw retailers directly donating their surplus food to local charities via an app called FoodCloud. Claire has previously worked on projects with Macmillan Cancer, VSO, World Challenge, the BBC and is a First Aider and Emergency Response volunteer for the British Red Cross.

Contact us today to find out how you can be involved in the life-saving work that FIRE AID and our partners are involved in throughout the world.