Norfolk’s new chief fire officer pledges to make road safety ‘key priority’
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2014
Norfolk has a new chief fire officer, following the appointment of Roy Harold.
Mr Harold, who was made an MBE in 2006, has more than 25 years' fire and rescue service experience, in London Fire Brigade, Cambridgeshire, Buckinghamshire and HM Fire Services Inspectorate.
He joined Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service as assistant chief fire officer in 2010, promoted to deputy chief fire officer three years later.
He said: 'It is an enormous privilege and responsibility to be entrusted with the public's safety, and I will work as hard as I possibly can to repay that trust.
'The outgoing chief fire officer, Nigel Williams, has been an inspirational leader who has made great strides to improve the services we provide whilst delivering substantial budget reductions.
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He will be a tough act to follow. Norfolk has one of the best fire and rescue services in the country at one of the lowest costs.'
Mr Williams retires next week after more than four years at the helm of the county's fire and rescue service. He announced in March that he wanted to retire to spend more time helping to look after his elderly father.
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Mr Harold steps into the breach at a difficult time for the fire service, which, like all departments at Norfolk County Council, is facing the possibility of cuts.
Every department at County Hall has been tasked with identifying a 25pc reduction in spending over the next three years. Such a cut in the fire service - or a 12.5pc cut - would see the closure of almost a dozen fire stations - which prompted the launch of the EDP's Save Our Stations campaign.
Mr Harmaold said: 'All public services face significant challenges over the coming years, and we in the county council will work with our partners to collectively deliver the best outcomes we can, but public safety is a shared responsibility for everybody in Norfolk, so we will need to work with the public to help them stay safe.
'We have made real and substantial improvements in fire safety over the last decade, but injury rates on our roads are not improving in the same way, and we are now rescuing many more people from road crashes than we do from fires.
'We will therefore be making road safety a key priority, and focusing on educating road users to stay safe and prevent crashes.'
Mr Harold will also take on the role of assistant director for fire and community resilience at Norfolk County Council - which encompasses trading standards, community safety and emergency planning.
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