Meet Merton's New Fire Chief

Rick Ogden has community at his heart

Merton's new fire chief Rick Ogden is determined to raise the profile of fire safety in the borough.

Rick (pictured right), who has just started as Merton Borough Commander for London Fire Brigade, has a background in community safety and plans to utilise that experience in his new job.

The 32-year-old joined the Brigade in 2001 and was previously based at HQ in a London-wide Community Safety role.

He said: "My priority will be raise the awareness of fire safety and to reduce the number of fires in homes.

"I know the area and the challenges it presents. There's a mixture of residential and commercial property across the borough, as well as some fast roads.

"Road safety is becoming an increasing focus, and there will be more preventative work - such as displays of people being cut out of cars".

He also wants to encourage a more "open door" policy for Merton's fire stations in Kingston Road, Wimbledon, and in Mitcham.

"I like the old-fashioned values and don't want people to think our fire stations are closed to the community. I'd like people to come in, have a look round, and get some advice. There will also be school visits," he added.

Rick has served as a firefighter across London, including working during the 7/7 bombings and the London riots, and more recently his community safety work has included producing a training support package for fire officers to assist people who have 'hoarding' problems.

He replaces Darren Munro, who has moved from Merton to become Borough Commander at neighbouring Wandsworth.

April 8, 2013

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