Assistant Commissioner Graham Ellis
Graham Ellis joined LFB in 1983 and started his firefighting career at Westminster Fire Station, from where he attended a broad range of challenging fires and diverse incidents in and around London’s West End. Whilst serving at Westminster, Graham attended several notable incidents including the Clapham Junction rail disaster in 1988, several IRA terrorist bombings, and numerous large fires.
Promotion to Station Officer saw Graham transfer to London’s East End in 1990, where he worked on one of the busiest firefighting grounds in the UK. After completing a range of specialist courses at the UK Fire Service College, Graham was promoted to Assistant Divisional Officer in 1997, and took up the post of Station Commander at Soho Fire Station, in the heart of the West End theatre district.
Whilst serving at Soho Graham attended and undertook command roles at a broad range of major incidents, which included the Soho pub bombing and Paddington rail crash, as well as major fires at Buckingham Palace and other high profile premises across the West End.
In 2003, Graham headed LFB’s recruit training, before moving into Special Operations Group to play a key role in preparations for dealing with terrorist incidents, and running London’s Inter Agency Liaison Officer (ILO) cadre and acting as the Fire Service liaison officer to the Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command at New Scotland Yard. Graham undertook command roles at attack sites during the 7/7 and 21/7 bombings in 2005, and formed part of the team which reviewed the multi agency response to the events.
Along with a small team, Graham worked with partners from Police, Health, Military and Home Office to shape London and the UK’s response models for addressing a range of unconventional terrorist attack methodology. This work involved close multi agency work in the UK, as well as with partners in Europe and the United states. Graham was a frequent lecturer on the Fire Service College National ILO course.
Following promotion to Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Graham played a key role representing LFB and the UK Fire Service in the National Olympic Co-ordination Centre (NOCC) during the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games. This command centre was pivotal in ensuring the delivery of a safe, secure and successful Olympics.
Senior leadership roles followed in LFB’s Strategy & Performance Department, and subsequently the Incident Command / Operational Assurance Team. Following promotion to Assistant Commissioner, Graham now heads up LFB’s Special Operations Group and Operational Resilience.
Graham is responsible for the preparations, training, response and recovery for a range of natural and terrorist threats, and overseeing fire service operations across the Greater London area.
He undertook the Gold Commander role for LFB during several no-notice terror attacks on London in 2017, and works with multi agency partners in London, the UK and internationally to share lessons learned and seek to improve the emergency services response to ongoing high threat challenges.