Appointment of a new fire chief for the Avon department

06:00 15 February 2022

North Somerset firefighters have a new chief.

Simon Shilton has been appointed as the Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) Fire Chief by the Avon Fire Authority and will take up his duties on April 1.

Selected as the People and Culture Committee’s nominee for the position, the decision was unanimously approved at the Avon Fire Authority’s full meeting on Friday, February 11.

Currently the AF&RS Deputy Fire Chief for Service Delivery Support, Simon will assume the role following the retirement of current Chief Financial Officer Mick Crennell on March 31.

Fire Authority Chairman Cllr Brenda Massey said: “On behalf of the Fire Authority, we are delighted to unanimously approve the appointment of Simon as the new Fire Chief for Avon Fire & Rescue Service.

“The process to nominate the next fire chief for the department was incredibly rigorous and both candidates involved in the process were of the highest caliber. Simon’s passion and wealth of operational and strategic experience gave us full confidence that is the right person to lead the organization.

“The Fire Authority would also like to thank Mick for the dedication and leadership he has shown in the role of Fire Chief, particularly in leading the organization through a difficult period following the Baker Review and throughout the ongoing pandemic. We wish him well in the future.

“We are confident that under Simon’s leadership, the Service will continue to thrive on its journey of continuous improvement and to be the best fire and rescue service for the communities we serve.”

Having been part of the fire and rescue service for 28 years, Simon served during his time as station manager, urban search and rescue manager, incident command trainer and training manager.

Joining and spending the first 15 years of his career with the AF&RS, he served as an operational firefighter at Avonmouth, Bath, Temple and Southmead fire stations.

In 2008, Simon worked for the West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service for nine years, leaving as Area Commander, before joining the AF&RS in January 2017 as Assistant Fire Chief for Support to service delivery.

During this time, he also held the temporary position of ACFO for service delivery.

“It is truly an honor for me to be named the next fire chief of the Avon Fire and Rescue Department and I want to express my gratitude to the fire authority for giving me the opportunity to ‘take on that role,’ he said.

“Having spent most of my career with Avon Fire & Rescue Service, I look forward to all that this role has in store for me.

“I will of course rely on Mick’s outstanding contribution and personally and on behalf of the Service wish him every success in his next adventure.

“I fully recognize the responsibility that this role entails and while it will no doubt be an incredible challenge, I am grateful to be supported by a strong management team and to work alongside many talented professionals who work tirelessly to s ensure that we are the best possible service.

“I am committed to working hard to ensure the highest levels of safety for all who live and work in our communities and working side by side with our dedicated and hardworking staff, we will continue to make our communities safer and strengthen our service.”

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