The new deputy chief fire officer of Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service will be Steve Apter, it was announced yesterday.

Currently London Fire Brigade Deputy Commissioner (safety and assurance), he has almost 30 years experience as a firefighter.

He has been in command at incidents including the Westminster Bridge terror attack and the aftermath of Grenfell Tower. He is the national lead for the fire service on counter terrorism.

Steve was previously Chief Fire Officer of the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service and Assistant Chief Fire Officer of Hampshire.

He has also worked on secondment as deputy chief of East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service to support its transformation and leadership development as well as taking on a government role to work on reformed inspection processes.

He has also been chairman and a key supporter of United Kingdom Rescue Organisation (UKRO) which helps drive up standards of technical rescue with national challenges and work overseas.

Steve said: “I am delighted to have been offered this role with a Service that is known for setting high standards across the industry.

“I am looking forward to working with the chief fire officer, the authority and all the officers and crews in our common aim of keeping the people of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight safe.”

Steve joined the IOWFRS as an on-call firefighter in 1990 after getting a degree in business and gaining private sector experience in business development for a number of years. He became a full-time firefighter in 1991.

In 2011 Steve was appointed chief fire officer of IOWFRS. In 2014 it was named most improved service in the UK and in 2015 he led the way on a strategic partnership with HFRS.

Liverpool-born Steve, 52, is married with three children and lives on the Isle of Wight.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority Chairman Councillor Chris Carter said: “We are delighted to welcome Steve Apter as new deputy chief fire officer.

“His appointment comes after a rigorous selection process that included top performers from a variety of disciplines.

“We look forward to working closely with him as we move forward and encounter exciting opportunities as a service."

HFRS Chief Fire Officer Neil Odin said: “We are delighted to recruit a deputy chief fire officer of such a high calibre.

“His credentials and experience will be a huge asset to the service and the public.”

Isle of Wight Cabinet Member Tig Outlaw said: "I am delighted at the appointment of Steve Apter.

"He brings with him a combination of firefighting experience and local knowledge that can scarcely be matched."

The announcement was made by Cllr Carter at yesterday’s Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority (January 24) meeting in Winchester.

Steve will take up the role later this year ahead of current DCFO Andy Bowers' retirement in June.