As his tenure as Chair of the National Fire Chiefs Council comes to an end, Political Correspondent Catherine Levin talks to Roy Wilsher about his long career in the Fire and Rescue Service.
Asking someone to reflect on a 40-year career in a 45-minute interview is a pretty tall order, but Roy Wilsher rises to the challenge. Having worked for a large part of his career in London Fire Brigade, achieving the rank of Assistant Chief Fire Officer, he left in 2004 to become Deputy then Chief Fire Officer for Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service. In 2017, Roy was appointed to be the first Chair of the National Fire Chiefs Council.
In four years, Roy has led the NFCC through the response to and aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire and to a national pandemic. With fire and rescue services continuing to deal with major incidents including the Manchester Arena bombing, increasing regularity of wildfires and flooding, the need for a national body that can provide advice and support is more important than ever.
The 2020 Tripartite Agreement between the NFCC, the Fire Brigades Union and the National Employers was groundbreaking and led to the creation of new roles for firefighters to allow them to respond to the impact of Covid-19 on local communities. Much has been said about the success or otherwise of the Agreement and its demise, but it did show how the NFCC could work in the national interest at a time of crisis.
Read the full article on our digital issue, page 23-25.