Meet the man taking charge of Hampshire’s firefighters

Neil Odin, the new chief of Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service (IWFRS) as of January 1, 2018. Picture: Jan Brayley

A NEW chief officer has been appointed to lead Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service.

After current chief Dave Curry steps down after a decade of service at the end of the year, Neil Odin will take the reins for both Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

He will officially start as chief on January 1, 2018.

Neil joined the service as assistant chief in March 2012, having previously worked at West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service for more than 20 years.

The 44-year-old has a master’s degree in business administration and holds senior posts with the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) and the commercial arm of HFRS.

He was selected for the role after a rigorous selection process and the transition will now take place over the coming months.

He said: ‘I am delighted to be taking on the role of chief officer for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

‘It is a position that I know carries great responsibility, as our service strives to make life safer for every resident.

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

‘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.’

Hampshire Fire and Rescue authority chairman councillor Chris Carter said: ‘I am very much looking forward to working with Neil when he formally takes up the appointment in January and supporting him in continuing the excellent work that has been achieved in making Hampshire and Isle of Wight safer.

‘Being at the helm of one of the best and most progressive services in the country is a huge responsibility and in Neil we have the right person to lead the service forward.’

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