A new Chief Officer has been appointed to lead Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service (IWFRS) from the start of next year.
Neil Odin will take over from current Chief Dave Curry, who is stepping down from his role after a decade with the service. He will formally start as chief on 1 January 2018.
Neil 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 lead such a great organisation.”
Neil was chosen following a rigorous selection process and the transition will now take place over the coming months.
Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority Chairman Councillor Chris Carter said: “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.”
Neil joined the service as assistant chief in March 2012, having previously worked at West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service for more than 20 years. Following promotion to Deputy Chief and Director of Service Delivery, covering Community Safety, Response and Resilience he has been responsible for firefighting and frontline response, prevention, safe and well visits, business fire safety and community self-help plans.
The 44-year-old has a master’s degree in Business Administration and holds senior posts with the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) and the commercial arm of HFRS.
In announcing his retirement earlier this year, Mr Curry described the Hampshire job as “the best job in the UK fire service”, and HFRS as “an organisation that has become one of the most respected and high-performing services in the UK”.