The Heat of the Moment by Sabrina Cohen-Hatton

I loved The Heat of the Moment by Sabrina Cohen-Hatton – Life and Death Decision-Making From a Firefighter. It was a bit hard to pinpoint where this book should be included, if in the Psychology section or memoirs. In the end I’ve decided to go for Psychology because she uses her experience to showcase what she is talking about.

The Heat of the Moment by Sabrina Cohen-Hatton

In the book she deals with analytical vs instinctual responses to different situations. She also talks about things like PTSD and confirmation bias. It is a fascinating book, but what I loved the most about it was her story and her determination. She was homeless and finished school while sleeping rough. At 18 she became a firefighter and this was her career for the last 18 years. Cohen-Hatton shares a lot of stories and details from her experience, both while sleeping rough and from her firefighting career.

She wanted to join the service because: “I wanted to help rescue other people because no one rescued me.”

While working as a firefighter, full time, she managed to get a degree from Open University. Even more impressive is that, as a newly-wed with an infant, she still worked full time and did her PhD. She shares a lovely story, when she was reading to her child before bedtime, but, as she was pressed for time, instead of a bedtime story, she was reading neuroscience books, thinking that her daughter needed the sound of her voice and she was too little to understand what she was reading anyway. How amazing is that?

I admire her determination and perseverance. In her own words: “You create your own opportunities. Your background doesn’t determine where you end up, only where you start.”

The Heat of the Moment by Sabrina Cohen-Hatton

Details about the picture: –
My rating: 5/5 Stars
Would I recommend it: yes!
Published by: Doubleday
Year it was published: 2019
Format: Hardcover
Genre(s): Psychology
Pages: 287

About the author: Sabrina Rachel Cohen-Hatton (born 1983) is a British firefighter, psychologist and writer. She is the Chief Fire Officer of the West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service.
At 15, Cohen-Hatton was made homeless after her father died of a brain tumour. Her school was aware that she was not living at home, but so did not support her in any way. It took her several attempts to get off the streets and into secure accommodation, including spending some time sleeping in a van. She joined the fire service at 18. Whilst serving as a firefighter, full-time, she completed a bachelor’s degree in psychology at the Open University, before completing a PhD in the behavioural neuroscience lab at Cardiff University.
Website & Social Media Links: –



4 thoughts on “The Heat of the Moment by Sabrina Cohen-Hatton”

  • What an amazing story! The author is an inspirational, brave and determined lady! So sad that the school didn’t think of helping a bereaved child, that’s truly appalling.
    And it’s true, babies just need to hear the sound of your voice rather than a story.

  • Hi Anca,

    I don’t tend to read memoirs of biographies, however this one does sound so inspirational and encouraging, on so many levels!

    Any child who can be treated so badly by the system and falls so dramatically through the cracks left by the authorities, then comes good with such determination, courage and perseverance, is surely a great role model for other youngsters in a similar situation.

    It just goes to show that even if you are a victim, you don’t need to stay a victim!

    Nice review and thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

    Yvonne xx

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