Mr Hirst said “Essex County Fire and Rescue Service is a large and complex service with many exciting opportunities for collaboration and development. Our open and widely advertised recruitment for the Chief Executive and Chief Fire Officer attracted a large number of high calibre candidates.
Following a robust, transparent and thorough recruitment process I am pleased to announce that I have named Jo Turton as my preferred candidate to lead the service. The recruitment process included a range of assessments including a detailed interview with a panel made up of a Home Office expert, a top tier local authority chief executive, the Chair of the Safer Essex partnership, a local councillor, the Chief Executive of the Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, the Deputy Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Jane Gardner, and myself. The interview process also included written and practical assessments and included a meeting with the Chief Constable of Essex Police, the Deputy Director of the East of England Ambulance Service and the Deputy Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner.
While the Service has made a lot of progress in recent years we still have a significant job ahead. We need to make sure we have a positive culture, we are open to collaboration with other emergency services and we are listening to and delivering the best service to the people of Essex.
“I believe that Ms Turton has all the experience, skills and passion to help lead the Service through this change, enabling Essex Fire and Rescue Service to become one of the very best in the country.
Following the recruitment process, Mr Hirst’s recommendation for the post will go to a confirmation hearing of the Police, Fire and Crime Panel in late January. Following this process, it is anticipated that Ms Turton could start in post in April 2018.
Ms Turton said “It is an honour to be selected for this role. I am excited about the opportunity and welcome the chance to lead Essex County Fire and Rescue Service into the next phase of its journey. The Service has made huge progress working with communities to keep people safe and reduce risk to the most vulnerable. The strength and value of the service they offer can be seen in the high regard with which they are held by the public.
“I look forward to working closely with all of the fire fighters and staff across the organisation in the months ahead and to delivering the best possible service to the public of Essex.”
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