Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Chief Fire Officer, Andy Fry, will be retiring from his role in April 2017, after 30 years in the service.
Transferring from Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service in 2015, Andy has worked tirelessly with councillors on the Fire Authority and officer colleagues to establish an ambitious vision for Berkshire, setting the fire and rescue service at the heart of local communities.
Andy will leave RBFRS focused on delivering the best possible outcomes for the people of Berkshire, enabling them to lead safe and fulfilling lives. Although work to deliver the vision will continue beyond his departure, his legacy will continue to be seen throughout Berkshire.
Andy has been at the forefront of modernising the fire and rescue service. Under his leadership many positive changes have been introduced. These have included the introduction of co-responding, which involves RBFRS firefighters supporting the South
Central Ambulance Service in responding to calls and providing life-saving medical care quickly.
Beyond that, a Thames Valley Fire Control Service located at RBFRS’ Headquarters opened and now receives 999 calls, mobilises fire engines and co-ordinates emergency incidents across Royal Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.
RBFRS has also introduced a programme of exciting FireFit initiatives for improving the health and wellbeing of communities, as well as initiatives for young people that are designed to raise their aspirations, and encourage them to do well in education so that they can secure good jobs in later life.
As well as overseeing the introduction of these programmes, Andy has also dealt with a number of serious emergency incidents – perhaps the most high-profile of which involved his leading the Service’s response to the wide-area flooding which struck Royal Berkshire in early 2014. This was a highly-successful operation, which involved the largest deployment of fire and rescue service resources in the UK since the Second World War.
Speaking about his retirement, Andy said: “It has been a huge privilege, and a great honour, to be the Chief Fire Officer of Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service. I hope that my contribution will help to shape its future - which I believe to be very bright indeed. With a clear plan in place, and a brilliantly-talented team to deliver it, I am sure that the Service is set on a course which will see it achieving increasingly amazing things for the people of this great county.”
The Chairman of Royal Berkshire Fire Authority, Councillor Colin Dudley, said: “As Chief Fire Officer, Andy has set an important direction of travel for RBFRS which will continue to benefit local communities for years to come. The contribution Andy has made to the fire and rescue service, both at RBFRS and elsewhere, has been enormous and he leaves a legacy of which he should be very proud indeed.”
The Fire Authority will be appointing his successor in the coming months.