Fire & Rescue Service appoint new Chief

Gary Thompson. INNt 45-819CON
Gary Thompson. INNt 45-819CON

The Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) Board is pleased to announce the appointment of Gary Thompson as the new Chief Fire & Rescue Officer.

With over 22 years of experience within the Fire & Rescue Service, most recently as the interim Assistant Chief Fire Officer and Director of Operations, Gary took up his new post as Chief Fire & Rescue Officer on November 7.

The Newtownabbey man said: “I’m honoured to accept the position. I’m very proud to lead the FRS and to work with exceptional people – both operational and support employees – as we deliver our prevention and emergency response service to protect our community.”

Health Minister Michelle O’Neill said: “I welcome Gary’s appointment. A substantive head of service will provide additional stability for the FRS going forward. Gary brings with him a wealth of experience and I have no doubt he will provide the necessary leadership to guide the FRS through the challenges that lie ahead. I wish Gary every success in his new post. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Dale Ashford for his valuable contribution as Interim Chief Fire Officer.”

Carmel McKinney, Chairperson, the Fire & Rescue Service Board added: “On behalf of the board, I congratulate Gary on his appointment. He is a committed and dedicated Firefighter and brings a wealth of operational and strategic leadership experience to the role. His focus will be on providing the best possible fire and rescue service to the community through prevention, protection and emergency response, whilst adhering to the highest standards of leadership, governance and accountability.”