Winner of the 2019 Excellence in Fire and Emergency Award for Most Influential Woman in Fire, Chief Fire Officer Alex Johnson talks to FIRE about her career. A relative newcomer to South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, Alex served briefly as ACO and DCFO before taking over from long standing CFO Jamie Courtney at the start of this year.
She takes over at a good time for South Yorkshire, where it received a strong HMICFRS inspection report with ten good grades and just one requires improvement for affordability for the future. Alex is particularly proud of the people pillar of the report: she talks a lot about people, with compelling authenticity and warmth.
“We know if we want to score good across the board, we need to be even better next time. We are looking at everything that HMICFRS pointed out, but we were already looking at a lot of those things.” She talks about making improvements because they are the right thing to do; inspection shouldn’t just be a tick box exercise for the auditors. Linking up South Yorkshire’s response to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry Phase 1 recommendations with the HMICFRS findings allows them to take a more rounded view of improvement.