Brian Sims

First Response Group appoints Barry Dawson in managing director’s role

THE SENIOR leadership team at First Response Group – the integrated security and facilities services provider – has been further boosted by the appointment of Barry Dawson in the role of group managing director. Dawson brings 35 years of experience gained at the highest levels of the UK’s security sector.

Dawson is described by First Response Group’s CEO Simon Alderson as “the final piece of the jigsaw” needed for the organisation to achieve its ambitious growth target of £150 million across the next five years.

Senior roles held by Dawson have included spells as operations director and then managing director at Uxbridge-based Advance Security, business director and managing director for the UK and Ireland at the Vision Security Group (VSG) and, most recently, Wilson James, where he spent just over six years as managing director and successfully built up the business through a combination of organic growth in strategic sectors and carefully targeted M&A activity.

In addition to a track record of driving sales growth, Dawson has led teams across many business disciplines, including crisis management, operations management, private investigations, security systems and emergency risk management, all the while attaining senior C-Suite experience courtesy of some of the most respected blue chip companies in the UK.

Simon Alderson explained: “This is a significant move for us here at First Response Group, and no doubt the ripples will be felt across the UK’s security sector. Barry is an industry heavyweight. With more than three decades of knowledge, experience and insight, I have absolutely no doubt he’s the perfect fit to help drive our business forward, continuing the momentum accrued over these past few years. We are adding weight and intelligence in the key areas of our business, which is what we need to be doing if we are to continue to challenge accepted orthodoxy in this highly competitive sector.”

Alderson added: “I look forward to working with Barry, duly helping him to build teams, empower people and deliver success.”

Building success

On his new role, Dawson observed: “For me, everything revolves and, indeed, evolves around people. They really are a company’s greatest asset. From the top down at First Response Group, it’s highly evident that this is where success is built. That’s what was instantly appealing to me.”

Dawson went on to state: “This is a great company that’s fast building an enviable reputation in delivering security solutions that fit the needs of clients. I’m now looking forward to doing what I can to make that vital difference, and helping us to continue the current trajectory and even move beyond it.”

Dawson’s appointment isn’t the first high-profile hire in recent months. Mark Mansfield joined the company last year as chief operating officer, followed by Derek Nielson in the position of group operations director. Further, Colette Bloom has joined the company’s leadership team as group finance director.

Headquartered in Leeds and also operational from eight UK regional offices, First Response Group employs a workforce of some 2,000 professionals and recently won the Outstanding Contract Security Company award at the 2024 Outstanding Security Performance Awards.

Solutions range from the provision of security personnel, CCTV and access control through to facilities management regimes and vacant property protection.

*Further information is available online at

Company Info


64 High Street, RH19 3DE
East Grinstead
RH19 3DE

04478 18 574309

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