CFO Patrick ArrisThe Chairman of Avon Fire Authority has led tributes to a former Chief Fire Officer of the County of Avon Fire Brigade, who passed away recently aged 82.

Councillor Peter Abraham appointed Patrick Aris QFSM as Deputy Chief Fire Officer in 1980 and they rose through the ranks of Avon's Fire Services together. He described former CFO Aris as "an officer who served with great distinction".

"I worked closely with him during his early career with Avon and was delighted when he became Chief nine years later [in 1989]," Cllr Abraham said. "Pat was highly skilled in a wide range of areas from operational firefighting, fire safety and training. He was greatly admired and respected by all those who worked alongside him.

"During his time with Avon, the firefighting vehicle fleet was improved, breathing apparatus and protective clothing updated, the Control Room was relocated to purpose-built facilities at Lansdown and information technology introduced. He was an excellent officer and will be greatly missed."

CFO Aris started his career with Surrey Fire Brigade in 1962 after serving in the Merchant Navy.He also served with West Sussex and London fire brigades before returning to Surrey Fire Brigade for a second time. He was chief of Avon for four years before he retired in 1993.

Avon Fire & Rescue Service Chief Fire Officer, Kevin Pearson added: "Pat is remembered fondly by many current and former members of staff who worked alongside him and have spoken of his great leadership and dedication to the role. We have sent our condolences to Pat’s family and our thoughts and prayers are with them at this time."

Picture courtesy of @avonfirerescue