Suffolk’s new Chief Fire Officer appointed
Starting in November, Jon will lead Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service and its staff, as well as having responsibility for Suffolk County Council’s Trading Standards and emergency planning services and being a member of the corporate leadership team.
Jon will bring a wealth of experience to Suffolk, gained from a 24 year career with fire and rescue services. He began in 1993 as an on-call firefighter with West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, before becoming a wholetime firefighter.
He is currently Assistant Chief Fire Officer at West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service and has responsibility for Prevention, Protection and Response, as well as the county council’s Resilience and Emergency Team, a service like Suffolk’s Joint Emergency Planning Unit.
Jon is also the National Fire Chiefs Council national lead for air transportation, and in his spare time is a keen instructor for the Air Cadets. He said:
“It is an honour and privilege accept the role of Chief Fire Officer with Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, working also with Trading Standards, the Emergency Planning Service and the wider county council. Suffolk is often held in high regard amongst services around the country, so I’m proud to be joining a great team.
“Suffolk is a beautiful county and has many positive assets, including everyone who serves their local communities. I have big boots to fill, but I’m looking forward to meeting everyone in the service, listening to what they have to say, and together keeping our residents and businesses safe and sound.”
Jon replaces Mark Hardingham, who became chairman of the National Fire Chiefs Council in April 2021.
Councillor Andrew Reid, Cabinet Member for Public Health, Public Protection and Communities at Suffolk County council, said:
“I welcome Jon’s appointment, he will bring great experience and knowledge to Suffolk. The role is a very important one to keeping Suffolk safe – of course he will lead our Fire and Rescue Service, but also has responsibilities across the council, including Trading Standards and emergency planning. It is an exciting time for him to be joining us, following the Service’s ‘Good’ rating by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate and the investment we are putting into operational equipment and new fire stations.”
Nicola Beach, Suffolk County Council Chief Executive, said:
“I am delighted that Jon has accepted the offer to join us in Suffolk. We put all candidates through an extremely thorough process over a number of weeks, in front of wide-ranging and diverse panels. Jon presented himself very well during interviews and presentations and we all felt that he is someone who brings strong experience to the team and someone we would enjoy working alongside.”
Dan Fearn, Suffolk’s Deputy Chief Fire Officer will continue in the role of Chief Fire Officer and Executive Director on an interim basis until Jon starts his role in November.