WEST Sussex has started the year with a new chief fire officer.
Sean Ruth has been deputy chief fire officer since 2009 and takes over from Max Hood, who is leaving to take up a fire service post in New Zealand.
Mr Ruth’s promotion comes after a career in the fire and rescue service that started in Birmingham in 1989.
He transferred to Surrey in 1996 where he operated in a number of roles including community fire safety, training, and operational command.
He was seconded to the Department for Communities and Local Government in 2007, working with the chief fire and rescue advisor advising ministers and senior civil servants on national fire and rescue policy.
Mr Ruth joined West Sussex after a six-month period as interim deputy chief with Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue in 2009.
Christine Field is West Sussex County Council’s portfolio holder for public protection.
She said: ‘There are pressures and challenges for all public services in the current economic climate but in Sean we have appointed someone with a proven track record of leadership and managing at a strategic level, someone with the right skills, vision, and experience to lead West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service into the future.’