Big Issue Ambassador, Dr. Sabrina Cohen-Hatton, was recently a special guest speaker at Asian Fire Services Association Spring Conference and sold copies of her book at the event with all proceeds going directly to The Big Issue Foundation.
The choice to sink or swim is one every Big Issue Vendor makes every day. Once a vendor herself, Sabrina is all too aware of how this feels and the challenges faced by vendors on a daily basis. Today, not only is Sabrina a Big Issue Ambassador, she has gone on to become one of the highest ranking women in the fire service today.
At the very young ages of 15, Sabrina left home and ended up sleeping rough and ultimately becoming a Big Issue vendor.
Sabrina was dealt a bad hand by life with the death of her father at a young age followed by the deteriorating mental health of her mother. It would have been easy for Sabrina to give up but she refused to let that be her story. Her resilient nature and pure determination to succeed enabled her to transform herself.
Sabrina understood the ethos of The Big Issue and took that “hand up” to reinvent herself by becoming a firefighter. Today she is the Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the London Fire Brigade. Alongside her rise through the ranks of the fire service, she also managed to find time to obtain an undergraduate degree, a masters degree and a PhD. Her PhD in behavioural neuroscience has helped her pioneer the Decision Control Process which was added to the National Fire Chiefs Council’s operational guidelines.
Recently, Sabrina was a Special Guest speaker at the Asian Fire Services Association Spring Conference, an event focusing on diversity and inclusion both in the delivery of services and in the recruitment and support of firefighters across the country. As well as providing her very personal perspective on firefighter safety, Sabrina was on hand to sign copies of her best-selling book “The Heat of The Moment”.
Her book “The Heat of the Moment: A Firefighter's Stories of Life and Death Decisions” explores her life as a homeless teenager and the various hurdles she faced on her way to the top. She takes us to the very heart of firefighting and immerses us in this extraordinary world that the majority people know very little about. And although these stories all involve examples from the firefighting industry, there are lots of lessons to be learnt about decision making in every facet of life.
Proceeds from all book sales at the event went directly to The Big Issue Foundation to support our work enabling us to support more vendors to achieve their potential.
Find out where you can get your own copy of The Heat of the Moment here.