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Who We Are

We are governed by 6 Trustees, 1 Chair and 1 Vice Chair who report into the main Steering Committee made up of the 12 founding members. The Steering Committee makes decisions about the projects that will receive equipment donations. One person from each organisation sits on the steering committee which meets quarterly.

 The charity is run by volunteers from across the UK fire sector with expertise in first response, incident command, project management, customs, media and much more. We represent our members on international forums such as the UN Road Safety group, raising awareness of fire responders’ roles in immediate post-crash response.

FIRE AID has no staff members and is run purely by volunteers.

Bob Blackman, MP
Patron

Bob Blackman
MP

Bob Blackman is the Conservative MP for Harrow East and presently serves as Joint Secretary of the prestigious 1922 Committee within Parliament. Bob was London Assembly Member for Brent and Harrow in 2004. Bob was also a member of Brent Council for nearly 24 years. During that time, he led the Conservative Group for 20 years and the Council for 6 years as well as being Deputy Leader of the Council for 4 years in a coalition.

Since being elected as a Member of Parliament in 2010, Bob has actively promoted the safety of buildings and became the Chairman to the Fire Safety and Rescue APPG in December 2021. Since this appointment, he has regularly written to Secretaries of State and relevant Governmental departments, made contributions in the Chamber and met with influential representatives of the sector to help promote the UK as a world leader in Fire Safety and Rescue.

David O’Neill, MBE FInSTR FICPEM
Chair

David O’Neill
MBE FInSTR FICPEM

David O’Neill is the Chair of Fire Aid and International Development. Formerly a Principal Officer in the London Fire Brigade (LFB) he was responsible for Special Rescue Projects, International Operations and Government liaison. During his 30-year career in the Fire Service he has undertaken various roles including Gold (Strategic) Incident Commander, National Tactical Advisor, deployable expert for the European Civil Protection Mechanism and NATO and has deployed on response and capacity building missions to countries including Nepal, Pakistan, India, Tajikistan, Bhutan. He also led the UK Government rescue response to the Turkey/Syria earthquake in 2023. David is the co-founder and Director of Operations for the Institute of Search and Technical Rescue.

Bob Blackman, MP
Vice Chair

Claire Hoyland

Claire is a passionate and dedicated member of FIRE AID, with her expertise in International Development for global fire and rescue services and sustainability. She has vast experience working with major international funders and governments in the fire and first responder sector, with a proven track record of growing projects from a concept to successful delivery. Currently working with the UK National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC), Claire's experience bridges Fire and Rescue services domestically and international.

Claire graduated with a Business Degree from the Open University after 7 years of part time studying. During this time Claire was travelling extensively, and as she moved around, she provided business advice to organisations in Uganda, worked with the Red Cross in Chile and founded a road safety project in South Africa.

FIRE AID and International Development, has been under the stewardship of Claire for many years where she is now the vice chair of the organisation.

Claire sits on the UN Road Safety working group for post-crash response and is a staunch advocate for raising awareness of the importance of first responders within this field.

A bid writer and project manager who is passionate about international development and sustainability, Claire will often be found visiting local fire stations whilst on holiday with her family to learn about how their service works and connect with firefighters and responders from around the world.

Andrew Ledgerton-Lynch, OBE
Trustee

Andrew Ledgerton-Lynch
OBE

Andrew has been the Editor of FIRE magazine for the last 23 years and chaired The Firefighters Charity from 2016-2020, the first non-Fire Service trustee to lead the charity. In his tenure as chair the organisation saw a significant turnaround with the Harcombe House centre undergoing a £1.8 million refurbishment and being repurposed to provide physical, mental and social wellbeing support for the whole family.

Andrew has served as Communications Director of the Fire Sector Federation and officer of the All-Party Parliamentary Fire Safety and Rescue Group. He has also been Editor of International Fire Professional – the journal of the Institution of Fire Engineers – since 2012; and founder and host of the Excellence in Fire & Emergency Awards since 2014.

He is currently a trustee of the Fire Service Research and Training Trust, and media and communications tutor on the International Brigade Command Course. In 2020 Andrew received the Coronavirus Journalism Excellence – Best Comment accolade from the Press Gazette and in 2021 he received international recognition with the Tabbies Editor’s Column Silver Award. In June 2023 Andrew was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the King’s Birthday Honours for services to The Fire Fighters Charity and Fire Safety.

Cameron Black
Trustee

Cameron Black

Joined the Fire Service in 1978 and served as an operational officer for 37 years where I undertook a number of roles, I am now employed by the SFRS as a Civil Contingencies Officer. In 1996 I joined the Organisation which is now known as the United Kingdom Rescue Organisation (UKRO), became a national and international assessor, and currently as a Trustee on the UKRO Board as Director for UKRO Global.

In 1999, I attended the inaugural meeting of the World Rescue Organisation (WRO) and with the assistance of a small team brought the first World Rescue Challenge to Scotland and the UK, which has now run each year around the world. In 2000 I was elected as Secretary of the WRO, a role which I still hold. Over the years I have worked to highlight the benefits of effective post-crash within organisations such as the Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP) and the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration (UNRSC) of which the WRO is a member within both organisations.

I am a founding and honouree member of FIRE AID, and recently became a Trustee on the FIRE AID Board. One of my greatest honours was to present FIRE AID to the UNRSC general assembly in its bid to become a member of the UNRSC. Over the years, I have worked in Romania, Poland, South Africa, the Russian Federation, Moldova, Serbia and the Czech Republic, more recently, under UKRO Global we extended our work in Ukraine by bringing a team of firefighters to the UK for training and coordinated WRO project development in Dubai. 

Heather Jones
Trustee

Heather Jones

Heather Jones, former senior civil servant, Cabinet Office, UK Government, across a 33-year career, mostly in HMRC and including a 6 year secondment to DG TAXUD in the European Commission. Now retired from her public sector role, Heather is also a non-executive Director for the community for the Port of Dover, plus Heather is the senior Brexit and Borders Advisor for ALS-UK, which is part of a much bigger EU and global group, offering customs & other services and digital solutions to trade. Heather also works as a customs advisor in partnership with Home Office, DfT and various UK charities sending humanitarian aid to Ukraine through the short straits.

Ian Greenman
Trustee

Ian Greenman

Ian worked in the Fire & Rescue Service (FRS) for 34 years, initially in Mid Glamorgan Fire Brigade and then in South Wales FRS. He worked in many different roles and finished as Head of Training & Development for the Service. He retired in 2020. He has a Master’s degree in Management and is a qualified Teacher. He has also completed the Executive Leadership Programme with Warwick University and gained a Post Graduate Strategic Leadership Certificate.

He has a long association with the UKRO having first competed some twenty three years ago, then became an Assessor at UK, International and World level. He then moved into a role of Marketing lead for the Charity before stepping into his current role of Trustee and Director for Organisational Development, Marketing & Communications (ODMC) early in 2020.

He also assists with WRO work and has been a member of the Marketing & Finance Working group for the past eighteen months.

He has an active interest and passion for all aspects of road and safety education and is keen to share knowledge and increase awareness amongst all key partners in the Rescue environment. His current role with UKRO has seen him develop some key initiatives and partnership agreements in advancing professional rescue.

Jane Eason
Trustee

Jane Eason

Jane’s profile will be updated soon. Thanks for your patience.

Mehrban Sadiq
Trustee

Mehrban Sadiq

I have been working with Tyne and Wear Fire Rescue Service for last 17 years, and during this period I have worked across communities and delivered the service to the best of my talent. Being a fire safety professional and the chair of the IETUK Northeast, I make sure that aid is delivered in every format to the communities around me and in South Asia. This involved also in creating awareness in various work environments which are in need of fire safety training.

As a trustee I have served with Northeast Dyslexia Charity from 2016 to 2020. Moreover, I am currently serving as a trustee for North East Autism Society and the Fire Aid UK. My commitment to working with various community stakeholders has been my specialty and achievement. For four years in a row I have been the member of Asian Fire Service Association (AFSA). It has been my prime focus to support ethnic minority entrepreneurs while working with Asian Business Connexions Northeast.

Recently, I have been elected as a Councillor in Newcastle City Council. I will strive my best to support diversified communities in all walks of life.