Andy Goves, Chief Fire Officer and Chief Executive of Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, has announced his retirement at the end of March 2011, completing nearly 37 years' service and over seven years as CFO. 

Andy joined Buckinghamshire Fire Brigade in May 1974, later serving a two year secondment at the Fire Service College as a member of the Directing Staff, specialising in teaching fire prevention legislation and fire investigation as an Assistant Divisional Officer from 1986-88. 

Returning to Buckinghamshire in 1988, Andy served in all ranks to Deputy Chief Fire Officer, while also undertaking a four year part-time degree course from 1994-98 to gain a 2:1 LLB (Hons) degree in law from the University of Buckingham. 

In 2000-01, he successfully completed the new 'Millennium' Brigade Command course, undertaking international research in Sweden into operational incidents in very large single-storey buildings with implications for firefighter safety. He was awarded the Gore Technology Scholarship at the completion of his Brigade Command course, and travelled to Japan to further this research, subsequently publishing a number of technical articles. 

Since taking command of Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service in December 2003, Andy has overseen the improvement of its audit status under the [then] Audit Commission Comprehensive Performance Assessment, whilst simultaneously maintaining a focus on delivering high operational standards and advocating national support for automatic sprinkler installations. 

At national level, Andy has taught on the Multi-Agency Gold Incident Command courses with the Fire Service College and the National Policing Improvement Agency, participated as a National Strategic Adviser to the Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser's Unit, and is a Director on the Board of the Institution of Fire Engineers. He has chaired international conferences into research, carried out by the Building Research Establishment and funded by the DCLG, into car park fires and car fires and also assisted the Building Research Establishment in research into operational incidents with acetylene cylinders, robotics and large insulated sandwich panels.  

Andy said: "Serving as the CFO of Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service has been a real privilege, leading an organisation that has always 'punched above its weight' whilst concentrating on delivering a high level of service to protect the community. Completing nearly 37 years' service in the Fire and Rescue Service reinforces what a special profession this is, and it would not have been possible without the commitment of all the people involved. That commitment goes beyond the 'day job' - I was immensely proud, as Honorary President of the Wiltshire committee of the Fire Fighters Charity, to see the Service shortlisted in 2010 by the Fire Fighters Charity for three national Spirit of Fire awards, winning Brigade of the Year and Supporter of the Year in recognition of its charitable achievements." 

Chairman of the Wiltshire and Swindon Fire Authority, Councillor Brigadier Robert Hall, said: "Wiltshire and Swindon Combined Fire Authority chose Andy Goves to be their Chief Fire Officer over seven years ago - and what an excellent decision it was, for he has proved to be an innovator, a strategic thinker and a tireless leader, who cares greatly for his firefighters and corporate staff. He lives for our Fire and Rescue Service and we shall be very sorry to see him go. I wish him a long and active retirement." 


Date posted: 04.02.11