David Ashworth has been announced as the new permanent Chief Fire Officer for Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS). David, who has been acting CFO for the past nine months, was selected following a competitive recruitment process.
Tom McCabe, Director of Community and Environmental Services at Norfolk County Council, said: “It’s great news that David has been selected to continue as CFO in a permanent position. Over the past nine months, he has done a great job of building the trust and respect of his colleagues and we have absolute confidence in his ability to lead the service into the future.”
David Ashworth, Chief Fire Officer for Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, said: “I am delighted and privileged to be appointed. Having been in the fire service for more than 34 years I believe that my experience will enable us to continue to provide the skills and expertise to keep the people of Norfolk safe.”
Cllr Margaret Dewsbury, chairman of the communities committee, said: “David impressed us with his understanding of the challenges that the fire service faces both nationally and here in Norfolk. He has a strong ambition to maintain the level of service that we have all come to expect from NFRS, in spite of the many difficulties that may lie ahead.”
David started his career as a Junior Firefighter at 16 before serving at Kings Lynn and Norwich and Sprowston as an operational firefighter. From 1992 he managed operational watches at Sprowston and Norwich Bethel Street. As a station officer in Kings Lynn and Norwich David worked in a combined Operational, Fire Safety and Training role.
He introduced Community Safety to Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service which changed the way prevention is carried out across the county. This included home fire risk checks, crucial crew and education at KS 1, 2 and 3.
David was the station commander in charge of Bethel Street for 3 years before moving to Great Yarmouth as District Manager before returning to Central (Norwich Area) and subsequently Western (K Lynn) as Area Manager. David worked on a number of national projects with the DCLG and Home Office as well as managing the service delivery and service support directorates of the service. He was appointed to Assistant Chief Fire Officer head of service delivery in 2016 and subsequently to Acting Chief Fire Officer later in the year.