« Desert Island Discs

Sabrina Cohen-Hatton, firefighter

2019-09-29 | 🔗
Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton is the Chief Fire Officer for West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service. She is one of the most senior women in the Fire and Rescue Service in the UK. After spending some time living on the streets as a teenager, her work as a firefighter began at the age of 18, after she had applied to 31 different fire services. During her career, her interest in psychology and fascination with how people make choices in stressful situations led to her studying for a degree, followed by a PhD. Her research into risk, decision-making under extreme pressure and human error has won awards and she has shared her findings with fire services in other countries. She is also an ambassador for The Big Issue magazine, in the wake of her own experiences of homelessness. DISC ONE: Alicia Keys - Girl on Fire DISC TWO: J Balvin and Willy William - Mi Gente DISC THREE: The Clash - Bankrobber DISC FOUR: IDLES - Samaritans DISC FIVE: Sex Pistols - Anarchy in the UK DISC SIX: Oasis - Don’t Look Back in Anger DISC SEVEN: Stereophonics - Local Boy in the Photograph DISC EIGHT: Toots and the Maytals - 54-46 Was My Number BOOK CHOICE: The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway LUXURY ITEM: A photo album CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Bankrobber by The Clash Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Sarah Taylor
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Pvc sounds music. Radio broadcasts, hello, I'm an event, and this is the desert island discs podcast. Every week I ask my guest to choose the eight tracks book and luxury they want to take with them if they were cast away to a desert island. This an extended vision of the original radio full broadcast and for rights reasons the meat it is shorter than the original broadcast. I hope you enjoy listening. mike. passed away. This week is doctor, sabrina, cohen hadn, t fire officer for west sussex fire and rescue services, and why
the most senior firefighters in the country. Doktor Cohen, doesn't fit this terry, typical image of a fire fighter. Just five percent of them are female, she's even more unusual in the role she occupies? Apparently there are more chief. I offices called Chris than they're all women in the job, but what really setter. Apart is her story. She was a homeless teenager when tired of being invisible, she set her heart on a career, in the fire service after applying the thirty one different stations she was accepted into the south, wales, fire and risky service at the age of eighteen. It was well working there that she became fascinated by the hidden processes underpinning the high pressure decisions. She and her colleagues faced every day when she discovered how little research has been done into the experiences of fire fighters. She decides to pursue a phd in psychology while continuing to work in the service, her research was pioneering as a qualified firefighter. She was able to observe her subjects in the field during real incidents her finding.
Have gone on to help shape national policy and lust She won the biotechnology and biological sciences, research council, social impact award for using what she discovered to help keep service professional safe this year she clocked up her eighteenth in the service. She says my best advice to anybody facing adversity is be brave, being we doesn't mean not being afraid of something being brave means doing some even though you're afraid doktor, sabrina, cooing hatton welcome today's island discs. Thank you so almost twenty years and the fire service. What what is it that you love about youtube? Everything? Probably for me, the privilege of being trusted by people to know what to do when they, quite literally having the worst aid they ve ever experienced, whether they hurt or in or in pain afraid they might not. Me get three. They might have just seen a loved one lost its us that they trust to come in and help to make it better,
the very least stop it getting any worse. We have often joked about not fittings, stereotypical image that the people tend to have in their minds of a fire what you think they're expecting. If you look at the national psyche, if what a fire fighter is that nine times out of ten, if you ask people to imagine a fire fighter thereof, ginning, some tall dark, handsome hunky calendar. Model and the reality here who fight- and I say this with love- I really do the realities of sea, more firefighters that look like at bulls than some thought barely sorry to disappoint it's not true, but in on it They, it does have an impact because selfishly as a seeing, if ok leader. I want the best of the best to join the fire service because you know up being a fire fighters and we need the best of the best but Now we're only really appealing to kind of proportion of the demographic that appeals to that
stereotypes and not gender gap is not a severe in every country. In the world party, partly ecuador, for example, more female firefighters per head. population than in the uk. Yes, I did a bit of work in south america a couple of years ago and I went to a congress over there and it was really fascinating to talk to people from other farm he services and the proportions, women that they have in some of the south american farm risky services actually significantly higher than in kyoto in secular something like twenty eight percent, which phenomenal when you compare it to ya, kind of a five percent times you first disk today, telescope it so much first track is girl on fire by elisa keys, and they saw me quite special to make as I've got a little girl Gabriela he's nine now going on. Nineteen, though, have to hand she really loves this track. She it will blair out on her ipod bellowing it out at the top of her lungs and on. It fills me with a really warm sense of pride, big
the song maize, about not stopping at what you think you're limits ha it's about push passed it on some of the lyrics really beautiful. You know about having her head in the clouds and her feet on the ground, so it is having a dream and pursuing it, but not being afraid to take practical steps to do it, just she's fine then a man a say I saw Let me see. No, she sees go on by unleash keys, sabrina cohen hutton. It was working
five. That is first sparked your interest in psychology. How did it happen? I had a really harrowing incident, actually that completely change the direction of of everything. For me, my husband and I were both fire fighters on neighbouring stations on one day I was called to an end So there were five fighter had been severely band There was a one in four chance that it was him, and I compliment, but the boughs going down going into the appliance bay on a couple of the guy. I swear ready at the tele printer and you know when you can just tell by the local someone's face that something's wrong anyway. They told me what it was, as I was kind of pulling on my my jacket and putting my to the slaves, and I can remember thinking- oh my god, I might actually be one of those people that we see every single day up to the complex and a normal morning, only for the whole world to be ripped apart
it was a horrendous and act on the track and we drove them for the entire journey. It was all I could think about an the funny thing, is: I was torn between them All of a loved one on the role of responded has also had to function. When I got the other side anyway, we, We got there. I jumped off the track and I could see this path. flags. Were these boots sticking out with her? Fire fighters around them- and I couldn't tell who was- I couldn't see anyone's face at that point. I our government, both grabbing the oxygen cylinder to run over on a bit down lips so hard to stop myself. Crying I've still got scar inside there to this very day, and then I saw my stand up. I felt this overwhelming sense of relief that it wasn't him but as soon as I have that sense of relief, I was flooded with a sense of milk, the guy that was injured. He wasn't,
two colleague he was a friend and I felt like not wanting to be MIKE. I felt like I wished it on him and I find it very difficult to cope with an but to try and cope with it. Then I started to look at. what we could do to stop a happening to any one else and Nivernais I thought well. Maybe I can cut of find a better mrs pack and we'd be better prepared. But when I started look what I found was incredible that eighty percent of it these across all industries, not limited to just fire happen from human error. That's not problem with a piece of equipment or a faulty policy or floored procedure, but a human mistake, and in my welcome it, we're getting hurt, and that's when I start to look at what we could do to help reduce that. But in I left home at fifteen, hu, let sixteen and on further edges she wasn't a luxury I could afford. So I had to start again at the boss and did a degree all the way up to a ph d, to try to understand this area more after my phd
that's when we started to do the research nationally and really kind of understand. What's going on a people's heads, we're making these kind of decisions exactly and specifically making these decisions in extremely high pressure situations, because it changes the way the brain works right changes. The way that we process information and gino come up with ideas about how we are going to deal with what were faced with exactly that so the kind of environments that we operate in an extremely high pressure on the high stress on when you experiences stress than some of processing capacities reduced because its focusing on that stress- and that means, you ve got less processing capacity available to process the information the scene and to make a decision. So all of the research in these areas have either been kind of focused in a lab or they'd, been in other industries, knows nothing specific too far and I needed to get to the bottom. Of how we can make it safe. For my colleagues and my friends in us, and not else, had to experience that, and you could do
research in the field, because you were a firefighter because I had that your role, I was able to access that environment and get some really rich value. Data. We found that eighty some of the decisions that people were making with our intuitive got decisions, if you like, they were responding to a peace and the environment, but in lastingly all of our policies, and procedures would only recognised the kind of analytical processes that you use. Of course, these processes happen very different parts. The brain is well, so it's impossible to say to somebody hey make anonymous decision here, because the realities, your brain, is gonna work in a particular way. So by agnes and recognising the impact of both insured if and analytical decisions. We were ready, I think, supporting I fight is in a way that, if your decision gonna be scrutinised after an event, then it's been done in a way that recognises the natural decision processes that you making, but just recognised,
It wasn't enough for us. We have to build on and help support firefighters to make better decisions and protect them against. Some of the law co decision traps. Those traps that you can fall into that kind of environment asked the music can tell us about your second choice today. Why have you come to this? I love this song, so the song is me anti by J, bovin and willie williams, and the reason chose. This sum is, I did a bit of luck in ass, america and there were a couple of hours. services over there that will really interested in the research had gone over and presented an amended some work with them out there, and I discovered get on, which is just amazing on this song was on consists Lay in a kind of a getting really into it, I never in a million years with everything that happened to me that I would ever be in a position where I'm fly of somewhere else to another country, because someone's interested in some of the work that fact
specially through the research where I have already spoken, I just don't know what I've been not only inside the cancer. La La la la LA me hinted: J, bovin and willie Williams, doktor sabrina who hadn t group in cardiff but parents had met in london. That's how you have my dad's was an immigrant and am very proud to be the daughter of an emigrant. Actually, he was an amazing man and he came to this country with your penny. In his pocket, but I had a really big idea
and depending on who in the family, you ask some of them think that he had a scholarship to go to cambridge and others laugh and say: yeah, that's just what he told his mother never get the green light to come over, but william from he came from Israel, his power. for morocco, and he was the first in the family to be born in Israel and he then came over here and he is so clever, he was like a mass genius and he had a photographic memory and he was just the most charismatic person and when he first came over. He didn't even have anyway to stay. You know he sat on the to book a couple of times until he got settle, but he was incredibly goods not just at reading cards, but reading people and he discovered he the real affinity with paying poker on black tack,
certainly can't say how will why he became so good at it, but he had a very good memory and he was very good at math. So a let people come to their own conclusions. A k paint a picture fainter, the victor an he met, my mum, who is actually a croupier, she's, very sharp as well, but she was a playboy bunny in the playboy casinos and they may and the rest is history, hawaiian zones or she's a bunny she's, a funny guy he's someone who has a real talent for playing cards and is trying to make his way in the world. If it did it at all, combination of. I saw you It's magic, casino and, and your dad is obviously in this slight jack ballade character to say yeah. I think so. He'd always find a way around something with your mom besotted within instantly absolutely odds. They were so. Nay head over heels in love. I delight each other
and they came to cardiff and settled in cardiff. They had me and my brother and I run a business had a pizza in cardiff on this issue after my dad had finished playing cards school, the music, it's your third, risk to spend this one. So they say is bank robber by the clash, and I think it's one of my favorite all time songs on the right My chose this track. Is it really reminds me of my father? Not because he was a bank I can, but there is a particular line in it were they say: daddy was a bank robber. He never hurt nobody, but he just Cecile your money. install money. I gonna write not really clear. He never hurt anyone, but he would always find a way around
the world's he'd never break one, but it always find his way around them, and so that's. Why has this one? It reminds me of my father of a bank robber, the dodd sabrina coonan suit, your childhood, which had and very happy was derailed. When you would just three your dad find out that he had a brain tumor, obviously you were tiny when it happened. What do you know about his diagnosis?
It was so hard because we were so young when they were so happy and they completely idolize each other and my mom kind of reflected back and said you know they used to say that they were so lucky and they couldn't believe how lucky they were, and then all of a sudden, this this thing happened and because of the low, patients of the brain she meant was in his prefrontal cortex affected. His behaviour is an affected. The risks that eta affected the decisions that he made on it affected. His personality is, while so not only Did you see the kind of physical deterioration of somebody with that cancer throughout the years? Has he got Ella and on its spread? You also so that kind of cognitive degeneration and the impact on his past It is honour thinking away. It's like it, took away part of his soul of had a conversation with my dad is not all so I don't know you know the reality of who he is. I I get that from. The people who knew him and on the stories that passed down- and I looked back-
Abby cause. I was nine when he died and she's nine now and I kind of I look like, and I think by means a couple years older than my dad. when my dad died and a new kind of report yourself into adulthood. and think in on us all. I started doings Actually when I set up a name account for her and every so often all all email, her just withdraw some musings or something that's happened, and I've got her password. stashed away safely. On a thing you note when she gets certain appointment life, maybe when she has kids this than I'll, send to our social have access to all this, but mainly that, if anything, happened to me. If anything happened, if I got hit by a bus tomorrow, then she'd have conversations with me ass, an adult, I think that's the one thing that I took from it is the finality of of death and on the reality of our own mortality, sue this diagnosed when you are three and then it s died. When you were nine nine, then it must be up to the devastating for the whole family. It was free,
the hard for a long time is mamma, I don't think accepted that he'd gone and she even to this day. Actually she still slept on the sofa where he died. She has never been in rested in another relationship sense, but her. She would- suffered with a mental health and broke down terribly, and it was a very volatile, difficult environment, the busy pilots and went under an we lived in an object pop t for a long time. We we grew up and benefits. We were kind of on the risk register from the age of about nine and a half ten, something like that's how the social worker was round all the time, which would stress, mamma and on it would be ethical and then you know it would be even more volatile and shape and it really difficult to take care of us, but did her best suffering on with you know,
with mental illness and it got worse and worse, gradually, worse and and by the time I was fifteen. It got to the point where we couldn't continue at broke down so bad Thirdly, I think it is fair to say that when somebody go so over the demons, they went them gets hit by shrapnel and upsetting the case. Our family and all fifteen. I found myself sleeping laugh because it was a bachelor connected to the one I was experiencing on. I don't blame my mother, any way, shape or form, because she was ill it's time for you, next piece of music. Is your fourth disk today tell me about this for a while. I love this track and its
hold samaritans by bond called the idols, and- and I appreciate that there might be some lessons that are necessarily into this john or of music, and I would encourage you, please don't turn the volume down, listen to the lyrics, because the very poignant and the reason that our chosen this track it's about the top. sensitive macho masculinity and the impact that that can have people's mental health and how damaging compete for people and I really love this, because in the fire service I experience that kind of culture of toxic masculinity, often also experience of very different side of things, which is really lovely fantastic, but we are disproportionately exposed to trauma and my job we are also disproportionately likely to suffer with mental health because of it,
minded some research, and they found that, even though we are more likely to suffer with mental health, where less likely to ask for help- and some of that comes down to the fact that being a firefighter becomes to call part of your identity that you see yourself as a protector and that you don't want to we see this being weakened anyway, But you know what sometimes you ve got to say: it's ok not to be okay and ask for help, but that early point in time- and I think if we could just eliminate that toxic element of masculinity- not the good bits- causes some really good bits what? If we could just get away from the idea that men are an anti crime and on allowed to show their emotions that you have to man up? You know that kind of rhetoric that language is really unhelpful and if we could get rid of that, then I think that our sons would have it
the chance idols. and samaritans separate, Echoing Hutton, as you said, by your meetings, it became impossible for you to stay at home. Find yourself selling. big issue and homeless, set at what age that happens. It was long before my sixtyth birthday and There was some really really dark difficult times out of sight.
one of my teachers, so me selling. The big issue can made eye contact put his head down and crossed the road to avoid may and a kind of new. At that point, nobody. Actually, nobody cares. I lie. I mean what what do you think about that? Now that you know you pay peers new people at school knew somebody must have said something to somebody I dont know if people actually knew the extent of it. In all honesty, those days this was before the children's act came in when public bodies have a duty to inform each other if they think that a child is at risk, so whether it would happen in today's day and age up sincerely hope not, but at the time it just felt, no one was interested in and by the time I was sixteen. I thought long enough to get some help with this, and I went back to transfer mild social worker and I went into the office in new poor and I was asking after him- and I call them that being in a really empty office and just piles and piles of followers and stuff everywhere. Animal
you don't know is moved only doesn't work here anymore, and I can't help you looking back. just by. I think that, maybe she didn't kind of I dunno. Maybe she didn't believe What I was telling her, but it was just a matter of let's get you out the office kind of thing, but it on if I'd, have gone back impressive aid than than it might get some help. But at the time the site. Well, that's a rejection So how are you living a meanwhile you? You know you were sleeping off our sleeping, laugh he s Sid off sleeping left in the delivery of an abundant church, and there were few others that was sleeping rough there as well, which in a way, gave you some comfort and the fact that it wasn't only you. sometimes had sleep rough in chopped, always one sovereign. I went to sleep in a subway because I he's, gonna sound, really silly, but I was fed up with the dark and I wanted to be somewhere light. and I went to sleep and ida Stray dogs we befriended each. the ink and he used to say-
but the bottom, my fate and people might look a homeless Does it well Why do you have a dog connachar yourself, but actually that dog was my rock. He was my best friend and he was this manifestation that was menace here. He was a menace, but he was my many some I loved him behaved well tat schuman on this occasion when I try to go to sleep in the subway cup, with some drunk guy urine thing on my sleeping bag and undue laughing hysterically and his might was laughing and many jumped out the sleeping bag and, let's just heads, but that guy or binkie relating on anyone anytime soon. But the point was in it felt dehumanizing on so many occasions, and I come from that being so hungry all the time and it was so bad. One point that I started eating out of bed by a hot dog stand until these peoples around a burning hot day, and they were happy
with friends and chatting to each other, and I could see people chucking away like a hot dog on us, it so hungry. I could cry I ambitious white and by the ban and waiting for someone to chuck one element is quickly darting in and grabbing and our economy. People looking at me with disgust stake. How can you we have been, and I can remember- fight backer, look thinking. How can you let your fellow human be so hungry that your stuff by and look on in disgust when they eating out of bed, and it was just such anti human. rising experience cause people would walk past? You like you, not there like some kind of ghosts like you. He don't matter and is funny If some unfolds over in the street, everyone will rush to pick them up. If you don't want to see someone suffering, but you Someone there sat on the side of the street with no food in the belly and no hope, and you just walk past like them, I am not suggesting that everybody,
be a saviour and somehow completely fix. What very often is very complex and difficult set of sack. Stances, but Michael, I say hello, don't you see the figure in front You see, the human being that someone son, or due to their very possibly someone's mother or father in their person. He sits in bonn sitting on the grander with no food napoleon. No hope did you have hope not always, but enough. I think I went to see if I can help the list, and I was told that, because I was already homeless, I wasn't a priority. They prioritized people who were about to become homeless, but what I found was the big issue and the biggest who is a straight magazine and everyone you say is either experiencing homelessness or is ripley housed was experiencing extreme poverty and each one is a micro
prepare the not begging their working and he by magazine for a certain amount of money, my day used by fifty pay and set on four pound, More now are not meant. I could save up enough money to try my way out of poverty, stumpy annex piece of music: this is your fifth wages, and so this is sex pissed those anarchy in the uk and only. Do I really love this whole genre music? Anyway, there was a guy called in that used to sleep rough, but the same and I was, and there were a number of people. including him who really looked out for me and I think, really help me to survive in that kind of environment and sadly, he is no longer with us. He died whilst he was experiencing homelessness, but he was ass, she'll guy, with a really good heart and the hundred reminds me of him
and it also reminds me why you shouldn't have tattoos when you're fourteen cause. When I was fourteen, I decided to have an annex symbol tattooed on my back, which I later had removed. this x pistols and anarchy in the uk, sabrina cohen hutton, that truck than reminds you of among The things that a friend you used to keep you safe when you on the street seat, read every day
trust in things he wrote about the experience that you'd hearts beat homeless, creed? this sense of hyper vigilance within you which were isn't as it ever really gonna ways it still with you. I think it is by control it a little bit more now. So when I Sleeping laugh, I very often be worried about you know where the next threat might come from and for, While I used to sleep in a derelict building- and it was completely derelict in your house in the reef gaps in the floorboards and stuff- like that- but it had some shelter from the rain a winter outside its hard. So it was a bit of a sanctuary, but of course, when the officer michelle till you're, not the only person that finds it, and so I worry some about what, who might come in size kind of clayton These scenarios might always find an exit route. I'll, find multiple exit routes and I'd do things like you know, stuck cans, I'd found an escape near one of the exits have to pull them.
behind meal, throw them at some one than I could you find yourself constantly going through these What, if scenarios that could happen on it, does make you very alert unaware of your surroundings cause to be frank, you know you to survive on the downs I too, that is sometimes it can make you quite anxious, cause you constantly looking for the next right, but some of those common try set out in a constantly being very vigilant about your environment? I'm not sure we quite well in my job. So there is one incident, which was quite a large fire eliza. A house building and there was a very, very small change The change in one direction unknown had picked up, but was that genuine direction meant that the burning embers previously in one direction without quite safe, though blown into the fire event. Blowing the other way and it could have sparked the neighboring carriages alight. We have to change operational tactics around that, but it was only because I was concerned
They doing that kind of hyper vigilant thing that that I picked up on air and otherwise you know we could have been looking very different outcome. He joined the fire service at eighteen, so by this pointed managed to scrape together enough from cell in the big issue, to get a little flat and set about trying to join the fire service do and if you will, the jobs here and that to make money, what was it about the fire service, in particular that the appeal to you, because you apply Thirty one different fire services in either. You are really determined to get in the idea of doing something to help other people, I suppose in a funny kind of way. I wanted to rest Others. In a way I felt like no one had been able to rescue may anita could have been a number of fields where you could oghee you do that. I think social workers do an amazing job every single day and do that, but I'd grown up, an environment where I was told not to trust a social worker. Definitely not. now. The place that was
really gonna happen. It Y know when experience homelessness, then you can experience some other challenges as well and the idea, when you kind of sat there and you are completely desperate and you ve got a police officer that moves you on the world of the police. Now I really do But I didn't always have a pretty and experience at that point in my life so, how much of your background did you disclose when you replying to this, that you indifferent visitations, none, none at all. In fact, it's taken me what twenty one years to talk back it's only been this year. We have started to talk about it and their severity. friends of mine. The LAO had no idea, and I am glad that I did now, because there are lots of people who ve in touch with me. Sense have had similar experiences you hadn't before felt like they could they could raise it. So you
only were taken on, as you say, the age of eighteen, so your five foot, one half teenage girl where twenty three kilos of fire gear? The only woman in your crew yeah? I was the first one. my station first woman, the mighty vision, I view the stations I worked actively. How did the other male fireflies reactor in the early days my career, it wasn't britain, my first six, I wasn't even in my own name, they called me something really derogatory, which I certainly can't say on the baby say in, and I make no secret of the fact that they did. it was a job for women and very often people would say to me there's no place for women in the fire service. You know I'm not be funny now, and to use happiness on youtube saying that too is an eighteen year old girl. You done away to put yourself, but after a while,
Many fed up when I belong here. You know what I hear you and I feel the same way about morons. I dont think that morons should be in the fire service, no offense to you mate, but here we are now. I know you were kind of police and legal field. Your boots, I wish also to things that not all of that is wrong, but I'm trying to think the kind of frigate apply logic to that and sat your this slight five foot, one teenage girl we need. the big, strap environment, away to go into emergency scenarios and track people out. What did you used to say to come to those kinds of stereotypes on? I think that's part of the problem. I think that the stereotype of a five lisa is so pervasive that, if I can do what people perceive the fire service to be about them,
I worry that sometimes some of those people who behaved in that inappropriate kind of way may have perhaps felt threatened by the fact that if I can do it, perhaps it's not quite so much so after all, but I have to balance it by saying that this happens to people in lots of industries. It's not just fire also worked with amazing people more so than I've had those negative experiences less visible music. This is your sick today. Tell me that choosing this one, so this song is dead. Look back in anger by oasis. and the reason I chose the song is, it reminds me of my darling- long suffering. Husbands, MIKE I had been really that I wasn't gonna date, a fighter because in our you become, must table gossip. I remember thinking, don't fall for him just doubtful
for him, because it's gonna end in tears and then lo and behold I ended up falling for the guy owns the night that we got together and I did the inner we wanted to have a relationship they some was playing and it was the first some we danced away sis and don't look back in anger, he mentioned earlier, and I know that you ve written about this to the repeated exposure to trauma that is part of the job
in the fire service. There is at last a conversation happening about thought about Peter stay in emergency service workers. What's your assessment of what is being done and what still needs to be done? I think that we ve actually made huge. rights in the past few years, because when I think back to my experiences and the fact that in our eyes didn't feel able to talk about them. Unfortunately, I found an outlet, my processed mine, but there was some people you want so lucky, and there was one guy that that I worked with. Who'd had a particularly harrowing incident with it'll girl, he died in a fire and he blamed himself because he was doing siding doors thing about wifi, got the whole israel chopped and a couple of seconds sooner and what, if I turn left Instead of right, maybe I found him will quickly, but he was the one who carried her lifeless body out of the house, and he was the one who's it up. The body by and closed her off from the world forever.
His whole life fell apart and only by chance when he was gone for routine medical, that he kind of broke down in front of the doktor and admitted how you feeling that he was able to get the help. he needed, but you know the kind of work about nine months and then, when he came back on this was time ago. When he came back, he found it very difficult to. Navigate his relationships with his peers, because people thought they d. how to deal with it and they date. They said that he was attention, say king, who, in a try to downplay what it wall and why would they react like them? I think because they did understanding. I think, because at the time and it I've got to stress, we all going back at least fifteen years, then it wasn't spoke about, and there was a stigma on mental health. It wasn't uneasy ride for him, I'm getting better now. Definitely I think that there have been and sustained campaigns from charities like mind with that blue light mental health campaign, which has really helped- and I think the fact that you know we ve- had
some high profile incidents where people have been very open about their emotions and about their feelings. On about the fact that mental health is important to us and we need to look after it. We need to look after our mind and not just on body. He went duty than I have further grenfell tower fire, but the time you were a deputy assistant commissioner in the london fire service, in your involved with the aftermath of helping stuff to process event where on earth do you start with something I mean it was. It was the man two harrowing event that I think any of us have ever experienced an hour. I wasn't there on the night, but I run our welfare centre debriefing, the crew- ass. They came off the next morning and then I was in charge of the scene for two days when we were dealing with a party recovery and a half spoken about it publicly on I've maintained that and I won't because, from my perspective, the so much that happen,
that night and there are so many families and victims is still don't have answers. That may be the most important point. Pull on they're waiting for an outcome from an enquiry on that's the bit that given the closure on. I think you know to be honest, even if I could speak about it, I wouldn't. I feel very strongly that it's not my story to tell and I believe that, from the perspective of the veil, in terms of what they experience. But I also believe that, from the perspective of our staff- and I was village to some conversations with people on what they experienced and then not my stories to tell and I never will, but I think that that scan of incident on, I think it's the same for the terror incidents that we ve experienced. They re Is that why the question about mental health in the emerging He services, but you know what it's not just those big high pro I'll incidents that our impact for four people? Sometimes
The little incidents that no one else knows about, but a really personal to you, because they trigger something, you can relate to stamp yo seventh disk today. Why have you chosen this sabrina This sum is stereophonics local boy in the photograph and a hat have something that nodded to my welsh rates being born and raised in wales, unserious onyx, while you dont get while she than the fanatics, unless you class, whilst cakes orwell's rabbit, so is not to my rates, but also the point, about this sum is its talking about a group of friends. He discover that their friend has been killed by train and the point about it. Is you always think he's gonna happen to somebody else, this tragedy? It never happens to you and certainly what my career has shown me anymore.
to cheat of ways. Is that actually it can happen to you on I've had that personal experience as well as seeing other people in that place every single day, and it's just that gratitude for war, we have an who you have never taking them for
the steady upon its and local boy in the photograph sabrina cohen hutton this past year has seen you publish your life story. Was it emotional pudding? Pent paper recalling your past, you really walls and a one I decided to write about it, I was primarily writing about decision making and the experiences that we had in the fire service and how that relates to kind of everyday life
because we're all human and world wide in the same way, and it was ass, in writing it. I was finding it very difficult to disentangle who I was in on my experience and how they shaped. May and then I knew that I had to include it, because otherwise it was missing a huge piece of the jigsaw, but by doing. Not it really has made me kind of confronts that pass the night experience and start to talk about it, it is emotional on is tough. It took a lot guts to talk about that and I don't. what any of it? You also shared your story with the big issue and became big issue ambassador this year. I wonder the current generation offenders made reading what you don't ruin where you ve been, since I hope that they can take something from My experiences, because I've been in the position way, you feel like you're written off, why you feel like society has put you in a place, and that's it. That's
the place where you can find by what people expect of you I wanted to say to them that you can break out of that. That doesn't have to be the case, so I hope that if it's done anything, it's inspired some hope for people who perhaps at one point didn't have any it's time for your final disk? Sabrina was gonna, be my final disc is takes in the may, tells fifty four forty six was mine. I'm back my return. I love this sum. Firstly, I just love that proper old school, jamaican scar, music, but I love the power of perspective in this. Some, and certainly when I was experiencing homelessness that perspective people that were looking at the people that were. my community and jane and fearing and crossing the street to avoid- and they were the people here- my friends, and who I shed some
ready wool moments way than on its often the case that people with the least share the most, and that was certainly ah perspective. We kept each other safe so it is that song about perspective and challenging what you think is the perspective and can a mile in someone's chaise before you touch them yeah Then you got no. No! No,
I teach me tones fifty four forty six was mine. Number. Ok, then doktor sabrina going off to the island with you. You will be in complete isolation, but you will have your books and music. How do you feel about the prospects of spending? I'm on this place about, I think the thing out The most is my little family, the idea, of being separated from Gabby. Unlike is a tough one. Bomb sure all learn: lots of new skills like tree, climbing and making cook. moonshine things started sancho not so that the books, I will give you the complete works of shakespeare on the bible to take with you and a book of your own. What lapping, while this was really tough, actually I initially try to cheat the system by saying. Can I please take a family foes?
help, unless my book, but a book that I would choose is ernest hemingway, the old one and the same, The reason for this book is, I think, it's such a powerful story of hope and resilience and mental toughness that, is something that really resonates with me. And I love the story and I love the character and I think Ernest Hemingway was just an incredible writer. I'm everytime, I read a kind of pink to him in cuba in the little kind of island Paradise almost and I find it very evocative book. And every time I read it, I take something else on a different level. So I think we could probably repeatedly raised it and never get bored to take a luxury item. What would you like so much a luxury item- is going
to pay. My family photo album because I thought rigidly well. Maybe I could bring Gabby, unlike with me, and then I thought, without be ready, selfish thing to do, because it may be stuck in isolation cells in our lives, but all these words emailing these rules, so I will take a family photo album with a caveat that it has to be with technology. Now things are wonderful, so herself up. eating photo albums. I could see them throughout time and also it would be a family photo album that dispenses an unlimited. Supply of ice cold jenin tonic. Well, I can't give you two luxuries, but I can give you the photo album. However, self updating makes it to close to some sort of communication device which is simply not beloved serpent I can give you beautiful photo album in these technical and you ve already got Can it moonshine? So? Well, that's true yeah, that's true! I just makes the moonshine escapades a little bit more exciting a bitter
the drive to to make the best moonshine the eba, hard labor, and if you just to choose one of these eight fine tracks to save from the waves which would it be uncover buying rubber by the clash eddies. two sabrina cohen hutton. Thank you very much for sharing your does island discs through this thinking as we leave sabrina on her desert island- that's just time for me to remind you that as a whole range of fascinating castaways, outback catalogue, sabrina told me how she managed to get herself back on her feet by selling the big issue. The founder of that magazine, lord john bird, was cast by slowly back in nineteen. Ninety eight, what we want duties when you took on the editorship of the biggest you some seven years ago. It was more business than social concern or vice versa. It was really important in those days but back
the early ninetys, which seems like a lifetime ago. In some ways there were so many people. having a go at homeless people. There were people, the police were being asked to be social workers and sweep them off the streets and were in and they were, but that wouldn't have been the answer. So what we wanted to do was stressed
the importance of work that they by their own efforts, would get off the streets. So, therefore, I was very very insistent that the homeless people bought the paper which outraged homeless people outrage, the public outrage, the charities and other organizations. Who said you can't turn people into sellers and just for some, some mercantilism, tickle capitalistic things. You know what I said. I should know what we're gonna do: give all the prophets. Oil all wise left over will go into social change, boundless people, but we are going to say to people. You have to be responsible for your own social transformation. It is not enough to simply give you another bowl of soup, For another blanket, what we said was that you are given ten papers to start within your inducted into the paper, and then you go out and sell the paper. If you want anymore, you come back and you bite, but
the cover price, and in these days it's a pound is what would they have paid you for that paper? Well, at the moment, they are paying forty pounds for a paper which they suffer sick, four pounds of making sixty percent. But you have to be beware falling into the trap of saying we ve invented a bit of a wonderful system that is having marvellous effect. When that isn't always true in the you, people will actually look at people who gets into halfway houses. You knows his mom is there to half way has, but they might never arrive We say that our work is good. Patent, indifferent, like most people's working life, were trying to improve the good, get rid of the bad and improve on the indifferent. But the thing is, we will never be beyond criticism because we're working with people who are themselves good, bad, an indifferent who are themselves riddled with all sorts of fur social.
There is also some baggage and we will always have to struggle to win win the battle to enable people to stand on their own two feet at their minds. Isn't it that you know that that's possible, because it's exactly what you ve done for yourself, yeah there is a kind of element in the area of the big issue was wonderful because people suddenly chewed up to believe me. I hadn't been believed in four along I learned to developing the pattern of knowing what I was doing and then once I learned, I then divert the ability to know I was doing it- is all about having the confidence and that's the kind of companies we have to give hospital even though they will last even though they will make problems. We are not perfect. I wonder if the big issue magazine lord John bed next time
Does it island discs you'll, be able to hear writer and actor lynn manuel miranda. Doktor rouge persuaded millions of people to join her financial revolution and then she did paid one of europe's richest women. Someone who looks set to change the world had vanished into thin air. On jamie bartlett and for the last six months, I've been on the home to try to find the missing crypto queen and it gets far weird. Possible kidnapping kidnapping killing all those from the traditional bank. This is the trick that they do it s very cult. Lake starts again, very very, very scary, very, very, very fast, subscribe to the missing crypto queen leave, see sense.
Transcript generated on 2022-06-08.