hampshireA new Chief Officer has been appointed to lead Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) from the start of next year.

Dave Curry will take over from current Chief John Bonney, who is stepping down from his role after a decade in the top job.

Mr Curry, the current Deputy Chief Officer, will formally take over as Chief on 1 January 2015.

Mr Curry said: "I am delighted to be taking on the role of Chief Officer for Hampshire."

"It is a position that I know carries great responsibility, as our Service strives to make life safer for every resident living in the county."

"Stepping into the shoes of someone as respected and admired as John will be a tough challenge, but I am confident I can bring a fresh perspective and insight to the role."

He added: "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 leading such a great organisation."

Mr Curry was chosen following a two-day selection process at the Service’s headquarters in Eastleigh this week. The transition will now take place over the coming months.

Hampshire Fire Authority Chairman Royston Smith said today:
"I welcome the appointment of our new Chief Officer."

"I am very much looking forward to working with Dave when he formally takes up the appointment in January and supporting him in continuing the excellent work that has been achieved in making Hampshire safer and HFRS stronger."

In announcing his retirement earlier this year, Mr Bonney described the Hampshire job as the "the best job in the British fire service", and HFRS as "an organisation that has become one of the most respected and high performing services in the UK".

Mr Bonney retires on 31 December 2014 after more than 10 years in the job.