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
    Chief Operating Officer
  • Glynn Henderson
    Glynn Henderson
    Managing Director of AMS
  • 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 Production 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
  • James Cox – MSc
    James Cox – MSc
    Health and Safety Adviser
  • Mairi Ritchie
    Mairi Ritchie
    Health and Safety Adviser
  • Matthew Loxterkamp – Grad IOSH
    Matthew Loxterkamp – Grad IOSH
    Health and Safety Adviser
  • Tony MacKinnon
    Tony MacKinnon
    Health and Safety Adviser
  • Laura Bond-Powell – IDipNEBOSH; BA Politics & IR (Hons)
    Laura Bond-Powell – IDipNEBOSH; BA Politics & IR (Hons)
    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
  • Drew Cook
    Drew Cook
    Safety Adviser
  • Hannah Clark Tech IOSH
    Hannah Clark Tech IOSH
    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 Manager
  • Saffron Bryant – BSc (Hons)
    Saffron Bryant – BSc (Hons)
    Training Co-ordinator
  • Tazmin Rahman
    Tazmin Rahman
    High Risk Services Administrator
  • Albert Thomson – GCGI
    Albert Thomson – GCGI
    Associate Trainer
  • Gizzy Morris
    Gizzy Morris
    Safety Equipment Stores Manager
  • Louis Corette
    Louis Corette
    Safety Equipment Stores Assistant
  • Sophie Webb
    Sophie Webb
    Safety Equipment Stores Co-ordinator
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, an International Diploma in Occupational Safety and Health and is a Graduate member of IOSH. He is 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
Chief Operating Officer

Sarah is 1st Option’s Chief Operating Officer. 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.

Glynn Henderson
Managing Director of AMS

Having joined the BBC in March 1982, Glynn became the safety Advisor for BBC Scotland in 1991 and worked on a wide range of programme genre from major dramas to documentaries.
He left the BBC in April 2006 to set up his own company, Action Media Safety Ltd., which is now part of 1st Option.
AMS became the leading provider of safety support north of the border working with nearly all of the major movies and TV productions filmed in Scotland.
He has also worked in Hungary, Germany and Croatia on films such as ‘Robin Hood: Origins’, ‘World War Z’ and ‘Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters’.

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 Production Safety

Jamie is the Head of Production Safety. 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.

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.

Mairi Ritchie
Health and Safety Adviser

Mairi has been a H&S Advisor for Action Media Safety in Scotland for 4 years, working in TV and Movie Production in Scotland since 1998 starting with staff jobs at STV OB and Studio and then BBC Drama Scotland. She worked through the ranks in Production until taking a career break, she trained as florist, and continued the ‘drama’ working in event management for a facilities management company. As part of this role she was required to be the named H&S Advisor. It is there she completed the IOSH recommended courses and NEBOSH General Certificate went on to complete a redesign and modernisation of the health and safety management system for the UK wide company, working in the transport sector including several international airports, Metro and Subway systems and London Buses.

Feeling the pull back into the industry started consulting for Glynn and during this time has worked on high value dramas including Outlander, the up coming Curfew, The Replacement, Lovesick and Shetland. Movies and features, up coming Outlaw King for Netflix, David Walliams’ Grandpa’s Great escape, Whisky Galore and The Legend of Barney Thomson as well as a wide range of productions from commercials to comedy.

Mairi has a Master of Arts in Sociology, NEBOSH Gen Cert, currently undertaking the NEBOSH Dip and holds a Tech IOSH Membership and has a current first aid qualification.

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.

Tony MacKinnon
Health and Safety Adviser

Tony’s background is construction having clocked up over 45 years experience. A time served Slater and Plasterer he progressed to the role of Clerk of Works then a Building Inspector for the then Strathclyde Police.

Tony worked for Action Media Safety for 9 years, as a Health and Safety Advisor covering all Film and TV within Scotland, Newcastle (Vera) and Prague for Outlander season 3.
He has provided health and safety cover for many big productions, these include Outlander season 1, 2,3, & 4 having worked there from its inception as Health and Safety Advisor and more latterly as CDM Coordinator/Advisor. Tony’s safety cover has incorporated a wide and diverse genre of Film and Television Productions.
Other film productions he has worked on includes Fast and Furious 6, Sunshine on Leith, Macbeth, Churchill, Country music, Anna and the Apocalypse, The Wife, Florence Fletcher Jenkins, Outlaw King, Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom, Excursion Smile, Moon Dogs.
He has worked on many Television Productions which includes Vera series 1 and 2, Waterloo Rd, Shetland (where he has provided cover from its inception), Young James,Garrows Law, Trust Me, The Replacement, Curfew, Clique I and II, The Feed Block 2, Riviera 2.
He has worked within a studio environment within the BBC where he has carried out studio inspections For Fact Sake, And They are Off Sports Relief, Impossible, and Chase the Case.
In Addition to the above he has also provided H&S cover for various Commercials which includes Haig Club, Vodaphone Christmas Advert and Aldi Summer Special, Virgin Train Advert.
He has also provided Health and Safety services for 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Tony has a Diploma in Safety Management along with an HNC in Construction Management.
Tony is a Fellow of IIRSM Tech Member of IOSH and an Associated Member of IEMA, in addition Tony is an IOSH H&S Course provider for BECTU Safety Passport, RPE Face Fit Tester, and Manual Handling Training/Assessor.

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.

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.

Drew Cook
Safety Adviser

Staff

Tech IOSH and NEBOSH Production Safety Adviser, WEMSI Wilderness First Responder, Qualified Mountaineer, IRATA Rope Access Specialist & Mountain Guide, specialising in personnel management in remote & hazardous locations.

Worked across the African continent, the Himalayan Ranges, the frozen wastes of Antarctica, the deserts of the Middle East & the jungles of Papua New Guinea. ‘Chernobyl’, Lithuania (Sky/HBO), Strike Back, Malaysia (Sky/HBO), A League of Their Own, Europe (CPL/Sky1), Fortitude, Norway (Fifty Fathoms/Sky Atlantic), Sherlock (Hartswood/BBC), Everest Rescue, Nepal (Betty/Discovery), Frozen Planet, Antarctica (BBC NHU)

Hannah Clark Tech IOSH
Health and Safety adviser

Hannah’s experience includes 3 years of managing risk and safety across the British Library’s sites in London and Yorkshire, and has since developed expertise in managing safety for events in the music, film, fashion and festival industry.

After undertaking her safety training in the complex environment of the British Library, Hannah spent time in the events industry, managing safety for music festivals with up to 30,000 attendees, including techno festivals Houghton and Gottwood and London mini festivals including Percolate, Afropunk and Shuffle Film Festival. She has also over seen safety arrangements for shows during London Fashion Week, complex film shoots and high profile launch events.

Hannah holds a NEBOSH General Certificate, an International Certificate in Risk Management, Tech IOSH status and a Joint Honours in Music and Film studies.

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

Staff

Paramedic, Expedition Leader, long distance rally specialist and mechanic, survival instructor and SIA security adviser.

Recent Productions include: My Year With the Tribe (Keo Films/BBC 2), Make or Break 2 in Panama (Elephant House/C5). Peking to Paris Rally,  Escape (Maverick/C4), Location support across Iraq, Syria and elsewhere.

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 Manager

Zoe’s role at 1st Option is that of Office Manager. 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 C.O.O 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.

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 Manager

Safety Equipment Stores Manager Gizzy joined 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.

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.

Sophie Webb
Safety Equipment Stores Co-ordinator

Sophie is the safety equipment stores coordinator for 1st Option. She manages client liaison and ensures all orders are dealt with effectively and efficiently.

Before joining 1st Option Sophie had extensive experience in administration, primarily from the fashion sector, using transferable and vital skills such as detailed organisation, communication, figure analysis and the ability to build a great rapport with clientele.

Sophie joined the 1st Option team in February 2018, hitting the ground running and absorbing information and learning about equipment at a fast pace. Sophie’s key responsibilities are maintaining client communication, being front facing for 1st Option Safety Stores and ensuring all jobs are completed.

Sophie is committed to improving and growing the Stores department and is keen to cater to all clients and go above and beyond their expectations.