London Fire Brigade Deputy Commissioner Dom Ellis retires after 35 years of service

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Dom Ellis: Career overview and contributions

London Fire Brigade’s Deputy Commissioner, Dom Ellis, has retired after 35 years of service to the city.

Ellis joined the Brigade in February 1989 at the age of 20, equipped with a cork helmet, woollen tunic, and iconic yellow plastic trousers.

His career has been marked by involvement in high-profile incidents including the ‘Stop the City’ protests, the Grenfell Tower fire, London terrorist attacks, and the 2022 wildfires.

Dom Ellis recalled his early days: “I came into firefighting just to give it a couple of years and to see how it would go.

“My grandfather was in the fire service, so there was some family history and it had always been in the back of my mind as a job option.”

Career progression and training evolution

His initial years at Erith and then Knightsbridge Fire Station laid the foundation for a remarkable journey through the ranks.

After five years, Ellis embarked on a path of promotions across various stations, culminating in the role of Station Officer at Tottenham Fire Station.

His experiences also included important training in Urban Search and Rescue in Texas, prompted by the 9/11 terror attacks.

Ellis shared insights into the evolution of firefighter training: “When you were training up back then, you didn’t see a fire, you didn’t train on one.

“The first fire I attended was in Erith where people were reported to be inside.

“Nowadays, trainees have access to so much more to help prepare them for real-life incidents.”

Leadership and transformational contributions

Ellis’s leadership roles included serving as Staff Officer to former Deputy Commissioner Roy Bishop OBE and overseeing various strategic areas, including the Brigade’s operational front line.

He was instrumental in driving changes to operational policies and equipment, particularly in response to high-rise firefighting and wildfires.

Ellis reflected on the challenges posed by climate change: “Responding to climate change is going to be the number one challenge for all of us for the foreseeable future.”

He also highlighted the Brigade’s initiatives to improve responses to wildfires and the growing threat of lithium battery fires.

London Fire Commissioner Andy Roe expressed his gratitude: “I would like to personally thank Deputy Commissioner Dom Ellis for his 35 years’ exemplary service to London.

“He has played his own part in the Brigade’s rich history and leaves with many significant achievements.”

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