New chief fire officer for Hampshire and Isle of Wight

New chief fire officer for Hampshire and Isle of Wight

NEIL ODIN will lead Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service (IWFRS) from the start of 2018.

HFRS announced Mr Odin’s appointment, noting that he will lead both services ‘from the start of next year’ and take over from current chief fire officer Dave Curry, who is ‘stepping down’ from the role after a decade with the service. Starting formally on 1 January 2018, Mr Odin was chosen ‘following a rigorous selection process’, with the transition into the role to ‘take place over the coming months’.

Mr Odin joined HFRS as assistant chief in March 2012, having previously worked for West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service for over 20 years, and went on to become deputy chief as well as director of service delivery, covering community safety, response and resilience. In that role, he was responsible for firefighting and frontline response, as well as prevention, safe and well visits, business fire safety and community self help plans.

In addition, he also holds a senior post in the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) alongside the commercial arm of HFRS, with outgoing chief Mr Curry describing the Hampshire chief fire officer role as ‘the best job in the UK fire service’, as well as HFRS as ‘an organisation that has become one of the most respected and high-performing services in the UK’.

He said: ‘I am delighted to be taking on the role of chief officer for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. It is a position that I know carries great responsibility, as our service strives to make life safer for every resident. Stepping into the shoes of someone as respected and admired as Dave will be a tough challenge, but I am confident I can bring a new perspective and insight to the role.

‘There is no doubt I take on the job at a time of great change in the fire service but I am looking forward immensely to the challenge of ensuring we continue to supply an exemplary service to our communities and to leading such a great organisation.’

Chris Carter, councillor and Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority chairman, commented: ‘I am pleased to announce the appointment of our new chief officer. I am very much looking forward to working with Neil when he formally takes up the appointment in January and supporting him in continuing the excellent work that has been achieved in making Hampshire and Isle of Wight safer.

‘Being at the helm of one of the best and most progressive services in the country is a huge responsibility and in Neil we have the right person to lead the service forward.’