Kevin Arbuthnot

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Kevin Arbuthnot became a firefighter in 1975. He was promoted to Assistant Chief Fire Officer, (head of operations), in West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS). He was appointed Deputy Chief Fire Officer in January 2000, with responsibilities as deputy to the chief fire officer/ chief executive, Director of Operations, and member of the Management Board of WY Fire and Rescue Service. He was responsible for operations and resilience policy, equipment specification, the mobilising control and command of the 49 fire stations and 1500 personnel associated with those functions.

After April 2006 he moved out of the uniformed service, and currently has roles as Director of the Gold Command Course at the UK’s national Fire Service College at Moreton in Marsh, Gloucestershire; Honorary research fellow at the University of Bradford, West Yorkshire; and Operational advisor to EU project “Ergo” based at Aston University, Birmingham, focusing on issues of mass evacuation from cities in disasters.

Kevin Arbuthnot completed the Brigade Command Course in 1994. He holds a postgraduate Diploma in Management Studies from Coventry University Business School and a Master of Philosophy degree from Sheffield Hallam University Business School.

He has been a member of the Chief Fire Officers’ Association (CFOA) since 1994, and in 2001 he was appointed to be CFOA’s national lead officer in incident command issues. Kevin was responsible for working up the UK FRS National Co-ordination Centre and the national mutual assistance agreement of 2006.

Kevin Arbuthnot led the research and development of the UK’s ICS. This was consolidated by the publication of the Fire Service Manual, Operations, Vol 2, Incident Command, which he co-wrote and edited (all 3 editions).

In conjunction with Professor Rhona Flin of Aberdeen University, he has co-edited and co-authored a book on incident command and critical incident decision making entitled “Incident Command: Tales from the Hotseat”, published by Ashgate in spring 2002.

He serves as a UK Expert on the International Standards Organisation (ISO) Technical committee TC 223, Societal Security, Working Group WG3, “Command, Control, Co-ordination and Co-operation”, and also the mirror BSI committee SSM/1.

He was awarded the Queen’s Fire Service Medal for distinguished service in the 2002 New Year’s Honours list.