Our Team

  • All
  • Health & Safety
  • High Risk
  • Stores
  • Support
  • Bob Forster – BSc CFIOSH MInstLM
    Bob Forster – BSc CFIOSH MInstLM
    Executive Chairman
  • Paul Greeves – MBE MBA IDipOSH
    Paul Greeves – MBE MBA IDipOSH
    Group Managing Director
  • Matthew Vyze – BSc (Hons) CMIOSH
    Matthew Vyze – BSc (Hons) CMIOSH
    Associate Director
  • Sarah Fuller
    Sarah Fuller
    Group HR & Operations Director
  • Stephen Killick
    Stephen Killick
    Finance Director
  • Chris Lawton
    Chris Lawton
    Head of High Risk Services
  • Jamie Fewster – Grad IOSH
    Jamie Fewster – Grad IOSH
    Head of Media Safety
  • Vittorio Vanloo – CMIOSH
    Vittorio Vanloo – CMIOSH
    Head of Safety (Policy & Systems)
  • Anne Shanley – CMIOSH
    Anne Shanley – CMIOSH
    Principal Health and Safety Adviser
  • Guy Lunn – Grad IOSH
    Guy Lunn – Grad IOSH
    Principal Health and Safety Adviser
  • David Milligan – Grad IOSH
    David Milligan – Grad IOSH
    Principal Health and Safety Adviser
  • Andy Bilby – BSc Grad IOSH
    Andy Bilby – BSc Grad IOSH
    Principal Health and Safety Adviser
  • Myles Francis – Grad IOSH
    Myles Francis – Grad IOSH
    Principal Health and Safety Adviser
  • Chris McNally – Bmus Grad IOSH
    Chris McNally – Bmus Grad IOSH
    Principal Health and Safety Adviser
  • Nick Hayes – Tech IOSH
    Nick Hayes – Tech IOSH
    Health and Safety Adviser
  • Del Anderson – Grad IOSH, MC Para
    Del Anderson – Grad IOSH, MC Para
    Health and Safety Adviser
  • James Cox – MSc
    James Cox – MSc
    Health and Safety Adviser
  • Matthew Loxterkamp – Grad IOSH
    Matthew Loxterkamp – Grad IOSH
    Health and Safety Adviser
  • Laura Bond-Powell – IDipNEBOSH; BA Politics & IR (Hons)
    Laura Bond-Powell – IDipNEBOSH; BA Politics & IR (Hons)
    Health and Safety Adviser
  • Zach Butler-Smith – Grad IOSH
    Zach Butler-Smith – Grad IOSH
    Health and Safety Adviser
  • Fergus Wright – Tech IOSH
    Fergus Wright – Tech IOSH
    Health and Safety Adviser
  • Azu Fraser – Tech IOSH
    Azu Fraser – Tech IOSH
    Health and Safety Adviser
  • Harry Norris – BA (Hons)
    Harry Norris – BA (Hons)
    Health and Safety Adviser
  • Annabelle Thorpe
    Annabelle Thorpe
    Health and Safety adviser
  • Adrian Baker
    Adrian Baker
    Health and Safety adviser
  • Grant Wootton – FRGS
    Grant Wootton – FRGS
    Head of Training and High Risk Adviser
  • Matt Webb
    Matt Webb
    High Risk Adviser & Trainer
  • Jim Allen – FRGS MSyI
    Jim Allen – FRGS MSyI
    High Risk Adviser & Trainer
  • Jade Miller
    Jade Miller
    High Risk Adviser & Trainer
  • Keith Styles
    Keith Styles
    High Risk Adviser & Trainer
  • Patrick Howse
    Patrick Howse
    High Risk Adviser & Trainer
  • Milos Stankovic MBE MCIArb
    Milos Stankovic MBE MCIArb
    Principal High Risk Adviser
  • Mac McGearey
    Mac McGearey
    Head of Equipment Services
  • Nick Parks – IFMGA
    Nick Parks – IFMGA
    Associate Remote Areas Advisor
  • Michelle McMullen
    Michelle McMullen
    Finance Manager
  • Zoe Compton
    Zoe Compton
    Office Administrator & P.A to Directors
  • Saffron Bryant – BSc (Hons)
    Saffron Bryant – BSc (Hons)
    Training Co-ordinator
  • Tazmin Rahman
    Tazmin Rahman
    High Risk Services Administrator
  • Fraser Carr (MA)
    Fraser Carr (MA)
    Marketing Manager
  • Albert Thomson – GCGI
    Albert Thomson – GCGI
    Associate Trainer
  • Gizzy Morris
    Gizzy Morris
    Safety Equipment Stores Assistant
  • Mike Keane
    Mike Keane
    Bristol Area Safety Stores Assistant
  • Louis Corette
    Louis Corette
    Safety Equipment Stores Assistant
Bob Forster – BSc CFIOSH MInstLM
Executive Chairman

Bob is the Executive Chairman of 1st Option Safety Group. Bob is a Chartered Safety and Health Practitioner. He is also a Fellow of the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. A risk management professional with over 20 years’ experience of providing consultancy and operational and strategic support to complex, multi-site operations including broadcasting, television and film, commercial activities, mechanical and electrical engineering, public events, production process, construction, aviation, facilities and premises management.

Prior to establishing 1st Option Safety Group, Bob was Head of Health and Safety at the BBC leading a multi-disciplined team of Safety Advisers, Occupational Health Physicians, Nurses and Physiotherapists and specialist security advisers.

He has represented the Health and Safety Executive on various industry working groups including the chairmanship of committees responsible for drafting health and safety guidance for the broadcasting and entertainment industry.

 

Paul Greeves – MBE MBA IDipOSH
Group Managing Director

Paul joined 1st Option Safety Group in September 2015 from the BBC where he was the Director of Workplace and Safety, responsible for the management of the BBC’s estate and for the safety, security and business continuity of all BBC productions and operations.

He is a former Lieutenant Colonel in the Parachute Regiment and Special Forces who joined the BBC in 2004 as the Head of High Risk becoming the BBC’s Head of Health, Safety and Security in 2007 and subsequently took on the business continuity functions.  In 2011, these roles were combined with the Director of Property function.

As Managing Director, Paul has led the development of the company into a full service safety provider across the full range of media and entertainment genre with particular growth in drama production and high risk support. As well as managing the day to day operations of the company, he works with a range of clients to develop their safety policy, systems and culture.

Paul is committed to 1st Option’s vision of setting new standards of professional service and enabling support.

Paul is an MBE and has an MBA from the Open University and an International Diploma in Occupational Safety and Health and a Graduate member of IOSH. He is a member of the CBI Health and Safety Panel and a member of the standards committee for the National Compliance and Risk Qualification.

Matthew Vyze – BSc (Hons) CMIOSH
Associate Director

Matthew is a Director of 1st Option Safety Group. After graduating with a 1st class honours degree in Health, Safety & Environmental Management, Matthew worked as a risk management consultant undertaking liability assessments and devising practices to minimise litigation for a range of clients.

Before becoming a Director of 1st Option Safety Group Matthew worked for the BBC where he led a team of Occupational Health Nurses and Safety Advisers providing operational and strategic support to all Drama, Film, Entertainment, Factual & Learning, Events and Commissioning departments. Matthew was instrumental in designing and developing the key production safety training courses. He was also responsible for designing and implementing safety management systems for live events, which has now been adopted by a number of other organisations within the Broadcast Industry.

Matthew is an active and influential member of both the Broadcast Industry Safety Group and the Joint Industry Stunt Committee.

Sarah Fuller
Group HR & Operations Director

Sarah is 1st Option’s Group HR & Operations Director. She is originally from New Zealand and after completing her Bachelor of Teaching and Learning Degree, Sarah travelled and worked all over the world as a croupier and on cruise ships before coming to the UK.

Working in the banking, hospitality and entertainment sectors before moving to 1st Option, Sarah has considerable experience of customer support, human resources, office management systems and processes.

Sarah also has significant knowledge and experience in training and development and in planning and running promotional events. She is responsible for the day to day running of the business and looks after the human resources side of things for the 38 person team.

Stephen Killick
Finance Director

Stephen is 1st Option’s Finance Director and is a chartered management accountant and a CIMA member in practice. After qualifying he gained experience in a variety of commercial organisations covering all aspects from financial control in SMEs to corporate finance and acquisition work in a large multinational.

Stephen joined the BBC in 1992 where after working to establish the case for commercialising a £350m division he was then appointed as Finance Director of the newly incorporated entity and as part of that management team turned round the company to sustained profitability, enabling the sale of a division into the private sector and the significant repatriation of funds to the shareholder through restructuring equity and contracts.

Following the partial sale in 2008 Stephen then moved to the BBC property division, initially to manage the finances of a £1bn construction project over the final 2 year period to building delivery before being appointed as Finance Director of the BBC’s UK property portfolio in 2010 until 2014.

Stephen is responsible for 1st Option’s strategic finance and also advises on contracts, insurance and other related finance issues.

Chris Lawton
Head of High Risk Services
Chris Lawton is Head of High Risk Services. He joined us from developing the high risk team at Bloomberg L.P, supporting the deployment of news and media teams.
He was previously part of the BBC High Risk Team, working in the UK and overseas with foreign news, Arabic and Persian Services, including an attachment as planning editor to the foreign news desk. He has consulted broadly with the UN and NGO sector on major incident response and contingency planning for clients such as the IFRC, WFP and World Vision.

He was commissioned as an officer in the British Army with the Intelligence Corps and he holds a first class degree in English Literature from Sheffield University.

Chris leads on high risk advice and support services, hostile environment training and the Stores.
Jamie Fewster – Grad IOSH
Head of Media Safety

Jamie is the Head of Media Safety for 1st Option. Jamie joined us from the BBC where he was responsible for advising BBC factual, drama and children’s television production teams in all aspects of safety management.
Much of Jamie’s work involved overseeing the health & safety commissioning and vetting process for Independent production companies at the BBC.
Jamie has a great working knowledge of the TV industry and considerable experience of live broadcasting in particular, having worked as both a Floor Manager and Studio Manager for an independent production company for nearly 10 years and advising on safety aspects of live broadcasts at the BBC.

Vittorio Vanloo – CMIOSH
Head of Safety (Policy & Systems)

Vittorio is the Head of Safety within 1st Option Safety Group. He is a Chartered Member of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (CMIOSH) and has worked for over fifteen years as a health and safety professional across various industries.
Before joining 1st Option Safety Group, Vittorio managed the BBC’s occupational risk training programmes for three years and prior to that, provided safety support to many BBC productions including Drama, Sport, Radio, Entertainment, Childrens and Factual/Learning. Previous work experience includes computer programming, business planning, business administration and asset management.

Anne Shanley – CMIOSH
Principal Health and Safety Adviser

Anne is a Principal Health and Safety Adviser within 1st Option Safety Group. She is a Chartered Safety & Health Practitioner.
Before joining 1st Option, Anne was a Safety Adviser at the BBC providing health and safety support to all Drama and Entertainment productions. As a BBC specialist Anne represented the BBC on the Joint Industry Stunt Committee (JISC). Anne was also the BBC lead on the health and safety commissioning process for Independent production companies. Prior to supporting Drama and Entertainment Anne provided safety support to BBC regional output – working out of BBC Birmingham and Manchester, covering a wide range of areas such as Factual & Learning, Local News, Current Affairs and Radio.
Before becoming a qualified safety and health practitioner, Anne worked for the BBC in various production support roles, giving her a wide knowledge of how the TV industry works and an understanding of production needs.

Guy Lunn – Grad IOSH
Principal Health and Safety Adviser

Guy is a Principal Health and Safety Adviser within 1st Option Safety Group. Guy has worked within the Broadcasting, Television and Film Industry for over 20 years. Before becoming a qualified safety and health practitioner Guy worked for many years within the BBC special effects department carrying out the full range of SFX.

His work in the television industry has included support to BBC, ITV and independent production companies in drama, entertainment, factual productions and newsgathering. Guy has in depth knowledge of the day to day workings of film and television, supporting safety critical activities, in the UK and abroad.

David Milligan – Grad IOSH
Principal Health and Safety Adviser

Dave is a Principal Health and Safety Adviser within 1st Option Safety Group, and is based in our Birmingham office. A Mechanical Engineer by trade, Dave started his Broadcasting career at the BBC in Birmingham, working as a Mechanical Technician. He moved into the Safety department in 1990, providing support and advice to the many diverse productions in the Midlands and East.

As his career progressed he became responsible for supporting BBC Resources Divisions in Bristol, Manchester, Milton Keynes and the Midlands. Dave has wide experience in providing Safety advice to Production Broadcasting activities including Drama, News, Sport, Factual, Children’s, Radio and Entertainment, in addition to the technical facilities that support the industry.

Dave also represented the BBC on the Joint Industry Stunt Committee for several years. Before leaving the BBC Dave was the Safety Manager for the newly formed BBC North Division in Salford, and the 2012 Olympics.

Andy Bilby – BSc Grad IOSH
Principal Health and Safety Adviser

Andy is a Principal Health and Safety Adviser within 1st Option Safety Group. Before joining 1st Option, Andy worked for 7 years as a Studio & Facilities Manager for talkbackTHAMES where he was responsible for all aspects of studio and premises safety including fire risk assessment, contractor vetting, asbestos management, mechanical and electrical inspection and portable appliance testing.
Andy’s role as Studio Manager has given him experience of working in a safety capacity with productions in a variety of television genres including drama, entertainment, comedy, documentary as well as films and commercials.

Myles Francis – Grad IOSH
Principal Health and Safety Adviser

 

Myles is a Health and Safety Adviser with 1st Option Safety Group. He has nearly 18 years’ experience as a health and safety professional, including 13 years as an Inspector with the Health and Safety Executive. During his time with the HSE, Myles was the lead Inspector for Pinewood and Shepperton Studios, as well as covering a broad range of other industries.

Myles has also spent time as the Health & Safety Manager for a leading European airline, and as an independent consultant providing health and safety support to a number of UK police forces.

Chris McNally – Bmus Grad IOSH
Principal Health and Safety Adviser

Chris is a health and safety adviser at 1st Option Safety. He previously worked on the BBC’s Safety Advice Line for 5 years, working and advising in all areas of safety within the corporation. Chris was responsible directly for vetting of independent production companies as well as writing safety training videos, producing the safety newsletter, and helping to design the BBC Safety app.

During his time at the BBC Chris also supported various productions including Eastenders, Holby City, the One Show and Match of the Day as well as Newsgathering across the country. Prior to joining the BBC Chris worked in facilities in various industries and was originally a professional musician who toured extensively and worked in theatres all over Europe.

Nick Hayes – Tech IOSH
Health and Safety Adviser

Nick Hayes is the Head of Fire Safety Services. Nick’s current role includes management of a team of Fire Engineer’s and Administration Staff, procuring new business, ensuring a top class service for existing clients, carrying out specialist Fire safety training and completing Fire Risk Assessments.

Nick has currently completed the NEBOSH General Certificate in the Management of Health and Safety and the NEBOSH Fire Safety and Risk Management, gaining Tech (IOSH) status.

Del Anderson – Grad IOSH, MC Para
Health and Safety Adviser

Del is a Health and Safety Adviser within 1st Option Safety Group. Del has 10 years’ experience within the Event industry and has worked on a number of music, sport and outdoor festivals. He was employed as a State Registered Paramedic with 25 years’ experience within the NHS Ambulance Service up until 2013.

Del brings to 1st Option a wealth of knowledge in all aspects of event H&S, from pre-planning, contractor vetting, preparation of even documentation to de-briefs when required. He is capable of assessing risks and determining the relevant action that is required.

Del is also a qualified UAV/Drone Pilot.

James Cox – MSc
Health and Safety Adviser

James Cox is a health and safety adviser at 1st Option Safety Group. He has completed a one month attachment to the BBC advice line, assisting with risk assessment reviews and vetting of contractors. Prior to joining 1st Option, he worked for an asbestos management consultancy in London as a Senior Environmental Analyst. This included being the lead analyst on large scale projects such as BBC Television Centre and One Angel Court amongst others.

In addition to this, he gained an MSc in Environmental Risk Management with a focus on risk governance, environmental regulation in practice and risk communication and perception.

Matthew Loxterkamp – Grad IOSH
Health and Safety Adviser

Matt is a Health and Safety Adviser within 1st Option. He holds the NEBOSH General Certificate in Occupational Health & Safety, and is also a specialist in advising on Display Screen Equipment (DSE), providing DSE advice to clients.

Before joining 1st Option, Matt gained a BSc (Hons) in Media Technology (Production), and worked in the film and television industry. He carried out a variety of roles including production assistant, assistant editor, researcher, archivist and librarian.

Laura Bond-Powell – IDipNEBOSH; BA Politics & IR (Hons)
Health and Safety Adviser

 

Laura is a Health and Safety Adviser within 1st Option Safety Group. She currently works closely with FremantleMediaUK where she advises and provides onsite support on a variety of factual and entertainment productions. She has also worked on dramas, as well as undertaking critical reviews of company processes through audits.

Before joining 1st Option, Laura worked for 5 years in the education sector in the Middle East, where she studied occupational health and safety alongside this. The latter included undertaking an extensive performance based review of a leading oil and gas company.

In addition, Laura’s background includes studying film, and working in international development in India where she worked on a community based video journalism project for a charity.

Zach Butler-Smith – Grad IOSH
Health and Safety Adviser

An experienced health and safety adviser, Zach is a graduate member of IOSH with a level 6 diploma in Occupational Safety and Health. He has 10 years’ experience within a variety of fields including corporate health, safety and well being, facilities management, asbestos surveying, gas installation and contractor management.

Zach is a level 4 IOSH trainer and during his time at 1st Option has supported news gathering organisations as well as providing safety advice and support to productions.

Fergus Wright – Tech IOSH
Health and Safety Adviser

Fergus joined 1st Option from a Glasgow based Events Company and holds the Event Safety Management Diploma. He recently spent three months as Safety Manager at the Southbank Centre.

Fergus has worked on such events as Intel Annual Summit 2012 + 2013 (London, Dublin), International Olympic Committee Hospitality Venue, Stratford (fit out), Team GB2012 kit launch events, BP/Royal Opera House + Opera in the Park, Fred Olsen Renewables- Windfarm Opening events – 2013 + 2014.

Azu Fraser – Tech IOSH
Health and Safety Adviser

Azu is a Safety Adviser with 1st Option Safety Group. Azu joined in 2012 after working in the leisure and sports industry for 7 years, where he was responsible for all aspects of onsite safety.

Azu’s first role with 1st Option was Safety Stores Assistant Manager. He then further progressed to Head of the Safety Stores before joining the 1st Option Media team in 2014.

Azu has completed a 6 month attachment supporting all areas of the BBC and is responsible for vetting contractors and suppliers, assisting risk assessment writing and accident reporting. Azu is experienced in safety equipment, risk assessments, fire risk assessments, fire safety training and incident reporting.

Harry Norris – BA (Hons)
Health and Safety Adviser

Harry Norris is a health and safety adviser at 1st Option Safety Group. Harry has over 8 years’ experience within the events industry, across a wide range of technical and production roles, covering areas from major greenfield arts festivals and music-led television productions, to national arena tours and the 2012 London Olympics.

Before starting at 1st Option, Harry delivered training to a number of organisations within events, entertainment and media, plus educational establishments, covering the safe management of young people in the workplace; acting as an advocate for a charity aimed at improving the quality of work experience and internships in events, entertainment and media.

Harry holds a NEBOSH General Certificate and BA (Hons) in Music and Media Management.

Annabelle Thorpe
Health and Safety adviser

Annabelle Thorpe is a Health and Safety adviser at 1st Option Safety Group. Annabelle has over 9 years’ experience within an aerodrome domain, working in airside safety and airfield operations roles. Annabelle’s knowledge and experience includes ground operations activities, management of accident & Incident reporting schemes, conducting investigations, risk assessment, compliance auditing, and development of SMS and QMS.

Annabelle’s experience in aerodrome operations includes airline liaison, day to day airfield licence and regulatory compliance, emergency Incident command, wildlife hazard management, and tactical safeguarding of obstacles and drones.

Annabelle is experienced in proactive safety engagement and behavioural safety. After the highly successful implementation of ‘Just Culture’ and associated scheme and initiatives at a major London airport, Annabelle was invited as a guest speaker to the IOSH Aviation Safety Conference 2015 and the Annual Air Safety Support International Group Conference in 2015.
Annabelle is a seasoned trainer, specialising in Accident Investigation, Human Factors, and Airside Awareness.

Annabelle holds a NEBOSH General Certificate.

Adrian Baker
Health and Safety adviser

Adrian started with 1st option in 2017, and is qualified to Tech IOSH, level 6 in Health and Safety.

Having come from a Military and Emergency services background with both the Fire and Ambulance Services he is now providing Safety and Emergency trauma care in the UK and in remote locations worldwide for a range of clients within film and television productions. He served as a retained Firefighter with Dorset Fire and Rescue service for a 4 four year period. He has 13 years’ experience as UK Registered Ambulance Paramedic with the South Western ambulance service, where he progressed to the role of Clinical Supervisor and Lead Paramedic for Education. He is also a qualified powerboat and safety boat driver.

Having experience of a range of locations ranging from the Amazonian Jungles to the cold of Siberia, Adrian is able to provide advice on issues concerning production safety within these resource-restrained locations. He has extensive experience working with a range of clients for film and television, and is an expert in managing safety teams and operations in remote locations.

Grant Wootton – FRGS
Head of Training and High Risk Adviser

Grant had a long and successful military career with the Royal Navy, qualifying as a Royal Naval Commando in 1991. He directly supported Royal Marine Commando units and the Special Boat Service (SBS) in some of the most demanding world environments, including the jungle, arctic, desert and also at altitude – he was particularly involved with the support and development of operations in Maritime Counter Terrorism. After leaving the forces, Grant continued to expand his knowledge base and understanding of risk management working with newsgathering teams, television production companies, non Government Organizations (NGOs), aid agencies, civil contractors and small independents. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. He has delivered essential operational support and training in practical security together with safety and medical solutions to a range of personnel working in high risk and extreme environments around the globe.

Matt Webb
High Risk Adviser & Trainer

Matt is an experienced ex-military trained Commando medic who served 26 years, leaving in 2012. The majority of Matt’s military career was spent with the Royal Marines and the Special Forces / SBS. During his military years he was deployed on several operational tasks and has travelled across the globe providing medical support in remote and hostile environments. With promotion Matt moved into more managerial roles prior to leaving.

On leaving the military in 2012 Matt was the Olympic Games Venue Medical Manager, successfully managing in excess of 200 staff for the Olympic stadium during a complex and high profile worldwide event. Following the Olympics Matt moved on to working as a remote medic, working offshore in the Oil and Gas industry before joining 1st Option Safety Group in his current role.

Since working with 1st Option Matt has travelled globally training television productions and news gathering media providing essential support and advice. Matt’s extensive experience in the services and other remote organisations enables him to relate clearly to the needs of the delegates and deliver training confidently and to the highest level.

Jim Allen – FRGS MSyI
High Risk Adviser & Trainer

A dynamic and effective expedition professional with proven capacity to excel when operating in a wide range of environments around the globe whilst maintaining the highest standards of client safety and well-being at all times.

Fully qualified (Ronin Concepts trained) with extensive experience operating in hostile environments with HM armed forces. Excellent client management and teamwork skills combined with a pro-active, forward-thinking approach.

As a highly experienced driver with vehicle mechanic skills he has worked with a wide variety of vehicles and equipment in the most challenging environments. Expert knowledge and experience in many key areas of expedition logistics and training, including medical and leadership skills.  A qualified trainer in the Lifelong Learning Sector, possessing skills in managing inclusion, planning, preparation, delivering and evaluating to a high level.  Regularly deploys to hostile environments in support to media and news gathering clients including Syria.

Jade Miller
High Risk Adviser & Trainer

Jade is a highly motivated and enthusiastic security operative, who has an extensive background in Close Protection and Personal Safety, specialising in providing services and tailor made security packages to HNW clients and Middle Eastern Royalty based both in the UK and Worldwide.

Jade is an accredited trainer who holds experience in delivering a variety of security sector based courses including first aid and holds a great passion in enhancing people’s knowledge of conflict management and personal safety. Jade has also spent a number of years as a prison officer, where she was required to remain alert and react promptly to any given situation, due to having to deal with unpredictable and volatile inmates on a daily basis. Through the experience of her service, Jade developed her skills in key areas of hostage negation, hostile environments and surveillance and intelligence.

Keith Styles
High Risk Adviser & Trainer

Keith is one of our instructors on the Hostile Environment training team. After leaving the British army, Keith worked across the globe supporting media, humanitarian, government and corporate clients as a security consultant and crisis risk manager.


In addition to his training duties, Keith continues to conduct security and consultancy tasks and possesses formal security risk management, medical and instructional qualifications.


Keith is a keen motorcyclist. He has competed at National and club level Motocross, in the Isle of Man TT and on the Irish roads. In 2015 he ran and managed his own team in British Superbikes (BSB).

Patrick Howse
High Risk Adviser & Trainer

Patrick’s background is in journalism. In a 25 year BBC career he covered news stories in war zones and other challenging environments, including as the corporation’s bureau chief in Baghdad between 2004 and 2009.


In addition to leading field-teams, he wrote for TV, Radio and online outlets, and broadcast live for TV and radio from the Middle East, Europe, India and north America.


Later he helped develop the BBC’s system for getting written copy on breaking news stories to air (Quickfire), and finished his BBC career as an Education reporter for their website.


He joined 1st Option as an instructor in 2014.  He is also a published poet.

Milos Stankovic MBE MCIArb
Principal High Risk Adviser

Milos Stankovic is 1st Option Safety Group’s Principal High Risk Adviser. He is a former Parachute Regiment officer with twenty years of service, notably in Northern Ireland, Central America, Southern Africa, Kuwait & Iraq and the Balkans. He specialised in arms control and psychological operations and was appointed MBE for his work as a mediator during the Bosnian war from 1992 to 1995. Retiring in 2000, he worked in Moscow in Russian private sector security companies (former KGB Special Forces Group Alpha and Infocon) and mediated new market entry for western businesses. As a security, health and safety consultant with Control Risks he supported CBS TV productions on the ground in over 80 countries on five continents for nine seasons of its Emmy Award-winning The Amazing Race, for which he was honoured three times by the Emmy Prime Time TV Awards in Los Angeles. He has also worked in and advised the BBC’s High Risk Team.

He was educated at Manchester University (Russian), the Minsk State Pedagogical Institute for Foreign Languages in the USSR (Russian) and at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. He holds a Diploma in War Studies (Kings College, London), a NEBOSH Level 3 certificate in Occupational Safety & Health, a current Creative Industries Production Safety Passport and is a member of BECTU. He speaks Russian, Serbo-Croatian and English. A certified coach and trainer, he is a Member of and Accredited Mediator with the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He is also a published author (Trusted Mole, HarperCollins 2000) and member of the Society of Authors.

Mac McGearey
Head of Equipment Services

Mac is an associate High Risk and Security Advisor specialising in Counter Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (C-CBRN) training, advice and risk management. He is a former Captain within the British Army who was commissioned through the ranks.

He is an extremely accomplished CBRN practitioner. Experienced in managing risk and planning operations within hazardous environments. On completion of his military service he had led Counter CBRN teams, served with NATO’s Rapid Reaction CBRN Battalion and was the Senior Training Manager of the UK’s Specialist Counter CBRN Unit.

With over 27 years Military service including multiple operational tours of Iraq and Afghanistan he has a strong background in Operational Training and Safety.

Now predominately working with the Media, Mac supports High Risk (CBRN and Environmental) related tasks around the world. This includes managing the risk from possible Chemical Weapons use in Syria and Northern Iraq to Radiation exposure risk management for productions into Fukushima and Chernobyl.  Following the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak in West Africa in 2014, Mac deployed on multiple trips into Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in support of the BBC. On the ground through all phases of the epidemic he was with the first BBC team into Guinea in June 2014 and with the last team out of Sierra Leone in March of 2016. In total he was in the affected region 19 times in and supported over 60 Ebola related tasks.

Mac is Programme, Project, Risk Management, Training Needs Analysis and Course design qualified. He is NEBOSH certified and holds a Production Safety Passport.  He is an SIA approved close protection operator and surveillance and medically qualified. Trained in conflict management, human behaviour analysis, ground sign awareness, combat survival and close country (Jungle) operations.

Mac runs mountain endurance events and is also a keen mountaineer, climber and expedition leader.

Nick Parks – IFMGA
Associate Remote Areas Advisor

Nick is an Associate Remote Areas Advisor specialising in high altitude, polar, jungle and desert environments. He has a proven background in adventure risk management in hazardous operations in remote areas.
A leading International Ski and Mountain Guide (IFMGA) Nick has been guiding parties, since 1985, in mountain ranges around the world. As an experienced mountaineer and adventurer, he is a highly sought after guide and expedition coordinator.
For the past decade Nick has worked extensively in the TV and media world, providing safety support to many adventure documentary productions including, over 20 shows with Bear Grylls.
The vast experience gained by Nick over the past 30 years working extensively in hazardous workplaces worldwide means he is available to discuss any of the issues associated with Production safety and offer risk management advice.
Nick and his wife base themselves in Switzerland in the winter where they run a Backcountry ski guiding business and the rest of the year in the UK near Exeter. Nick is into most outdoor sports; skier, climber, biker and especially paragliding. A keen photographer he often shoots stills for productions.

Michelle McMullen
Finance Manager

Michelle joined the 1st Option Team in July 2008 after a long and varied career within television, commencing in 1985 with the BBC. Michelle remained at the BBC working within Facilities Management, Health & Safety, Training and finally moving across to Production, working within BBC Drama for many years, whereupon she made the decision to make the transition to Freelance Production Work, starting as a Production Secretary and then Production Co-ordinator on various Television Dramas.


After becoming a parent, Michelle took some time off and joined 1st Option part time. She has since progressed within the company and has been the Finance Manager since 2009. Michelle is responsible for all areas of finance.

Zoe Compton
Office Administrator & P.A to Directors

Zoe’s role at 1st Option is that of Office Administrator and PA to the Directors. After 2 years of studying Business Studies BTEC and floristry at college, Zoe started at 1st Option as an apprentice in 2013. She successfully completed her Level 2 NVQ in Business and Administration and was offered a full time position at 1st Option.


Zoe works alongside the Operations Director in the day to day running of the business and provides administrative support to the wider 1st Option team. She also acts as a personal assistant to the MD, Non Exec Director, and Exec Director.

Saffron Bryant – BSc (Hons)
Training Co-ordinator

Saffron is the Media Training Co-ordinator for 1st Option. As well as providing administrative support, Saffron is responsible for creating, developing and marketing the 1st Option training schedule and all Media training bookings.


Saffron has a BSc (Hons) in Media and Cultural Studies and before joining the company, spent 4 years as a Service Coordinator in Facilities industry where her role was varied and included customer service, Health and Safety record management and arranging meeting room facilities.

Tazmin Rahman
High Risk Services Administrator

Tazmin is the High Risk Services Administrator for 1st Option.

Tazmin has a BA (Hons) in Marketing and Business Management and before joining the company, spent 6 years as an Executive Assistant/PA within the automotive industry where her role varied including, marketing, PR and team management. Tazmin is responsible for the administration, co-ordination, marketing and development of the high risk training and also handle the logistics of all high risk deployments.

Fraser Carr (MA)
Marketing Manager

Fraser is 1st Option Safety’s Marketing Manager. He is responsible for setting and delivering the company’s marketing strategy, developing our ever expanding website and services, forming relevant partnerships in the industry and spreading 1st Option Safety Brand Awareness.

Fraser graduated from the University of East Anglia with an MA in Film and Television Studies in 2013. He was Production Manager on ‘A Confession’ which won the Crystal Bear for Best Short Film at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival.

Fraser joined 1st Option Safety from a content and social networking company where he was Global Marketing Manager.

Albert Thomson – GCGI
Associate Trainer

Albert served in the Army from 1988 to 2005 achieving rank of Colour Sergeant. He took the difficult decision to leave the Forces after he was injured in the Iraq Conflict in 2003 and lost his left leg above the knee.

As a result of this experience, Albert was the first in the UK to introduce the concept of using amputees to re-create scenes of trauma for more realistic training which he has done to great effect on our hostile environment course for a number of years.

In 2008 he was awarded Radar’s Disabled Entrepreneur of the Year Award in December 2008.

Albert now works full time for 1st Option providing casualty and pyrotechnics simulation on our training courses as well as managing the Stores based in London.

Gizzy Morris
Safety Equipment Stores Assistant

Safety Equipment Stores Assistant Gizzy joins the 1st Option team from an outdoor clothing company where he gained valuable knowledge of outdoor equipment, clothing, and use of PPE. He is fully trained to service portable fire extinguishers and performs annual services for clients to ensure fire equipment is maintained and safe to use.

Gizzy’s role as part of the Safety Equipment Stores team sees him liaising with clients on a daily basis to provide advice and guidance on the hire and purchase of safety equipment and clothing for various events and breaking news stories. Gizzy is also responsible for maintaining the store rooms and ensuring stock is kept in good order.

Mike Keane
Bristol Area Safety Stores Assistant

Mike is the main point of contact for the Bristol safety stores.

Before joining 1st Option Safety Group, Mike worked in Sales and Marketing for the last five years and has experience in outdoor equipment retail. A keen outdoorsman who used to volunteer with the RAF Air Cadets, he can often be found covered in mud on his bike or catching a few waves around the South West and Wales.

Louis Corette
Safety Equipment Stores Assistant

Louis is an apprentice with 1st Option, working towards his NVQ. He is trained in Inspection of Working at Heights and PPE, giving him the knowledge and confidence to provide advice and support to clients. He supports the stores team with the sale and hire of equipment, stock management and maintenance of equipment.

Louis is a keen football fan and coach.