Greater Manchester's former County Fire Officer and Chief Executive, George Almond, CBE, MBE, is the new High Sheriff of Greater Manchester.  He is believed to be the first Chief Fire Officer in the UK to be appointed to this prestigious position.
Mr Almond's installation at Bolton Town Hall on 30th March starts a year of office during which he represents the Queen's justice and legal system in the county by supporting not only the High Court circuit judges and law enforcement agencies, such as the police and probation services, but also numerous community, faith and voluntary organisations.
Commenting on his appointment Mr. Almond says:  "Having served in the Fire Service for 40 years − 20 of them in Greater Manchester − I have learnt much about social problems in the community as, like most fire officers, I have seen many of them first hand.  I hope this experience will enable me to provide constructive support to the work being undertaken by the statutory and voluntary organisations in the county, especially those involved with young people.
"Members of the Fire and Rescue Service are heavily involved in tackling a number of social problems. By adopting a wide range of proactive educational and training programmes they have been able to influence many young lives.  Whilst they cannot hope to address all of the problems experienced by some communities their actions have resulted in a significant reduction in the number of fires and false alarms and the inevitable human suffering and cost that so often follows.
"I am therefore proud to bring this background to the duties of High Sheriff. The role has changed significantly over the years and today combines the best of our national heritage and tradition whilst helping to develop a wide range of community based initiatives."

BiographyGeorge Almond, aged 68, was born in Portsmouth and joined the Hampshire Fire Service in 1962, serving across the county before moving on promotion to Cheshire in 1970.
In 1982 he was appointed Assistant County Fire Officer with Greater Manchester Fire Service and subsequently became County Fire Officer and Chief Executive in 1995, before retiring in 2002 after 40 years' service.
During his career, he was elected International President of the Institution of Fire Engineers; Chairman of the Fire Services National Benevolent Fund and served on the government's former Central Fire Brigades Advisory Council (CFBAC).
His contribution to the Fire Service and the Greater Manchester community earned him an Honorary Masters Degree from the University of Salford and an Honorary Doctorate of Engineering from the University of Bolton.
George Almond has been also awarded the Fire Brigade Long Service and Good Conduct Medal; the Queen's Jubilee Medal and is an Officer Brother of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem.
In 1992, he was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) and in 2000, a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE). He has been a Deputy Lieutenant of Greater Manchester for the past 13 years.
Since retiring he has worked as a fire consultant and also undertakes voluntary work. He is a trustee of 'Emmaus' in Bolton and has been involved in establishing similar communities for the homeless in Salford, Preston and Burnley.  He is a Home Visitor and Life Patron of the Firefighters' Charity.
He has been County Commander of St John Ambulance and is a current member and former President of the Rotary Club of Manchester.


Posted March 22nd, 2012 at 0845 by Andrew. Comment by emailing: