New Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive for Essex County Fire and Rescue Service confirmed
Jo Turton has now been officially confirmed as the new Chief Fire Officer/ Chief Executive for Essex County Fire and Rescue Service by the members of the Police, Fire and Crime Panel at their meeting yesterday (Monday, January 22, 2018).
In December, Ms Turton was selected as the preferred candidate for the role by Roger Hirst, the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, following a rigorous and competitive recruitment process.
Following the ratification of her appointment by the panel at the meeting held at Chelmsford’s County Hall, Roger Hirst said: “I’m delighted that Jo Turton is coming to Essex. She brings relevant and complementary skills as well as the passion needed to lead the Essex County Fire and Rescue Service. She will be able to steer the organisation further on its journey of cultural change, enabling it to be one of the very best fire and rescue services in the country.”
Councillor John Jowers, Chair of the Police, Fire and Crime Panel, said: “We are really excited about the appointment and are looking forward to seeing the impact that Jo Turton will make on the organisation.”
Following the meeting, Jo Turton said: “I was delighted and excited to be offered the role of Chief Executive and Chief Fire Officer and I’m really looking forward to getting started in April. I’m also very fortunate because to be joining Essex Fire and Rescue Service following a successful period of evolution and improvement led by the current Chief Fire Officer, Adam Eckley and his leadership team.
“Looking to the future, I understand that there are substantial challenges ahead. But I’m confident that building on the progress that’s already been made and by working together with the all of the staff, stakeholders and unions we can continue to improve and transform Essex Fire and Rescue Service into an example of excellence across the UK and beyond.”
The recruitment process for the role included a range of assessments including a detailed interview with a panel made up of Roger Hirst, the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, 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, and the Deputy Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Jane Gardner. The interview process also included written and practical assessments as well as 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.
Ms Turton has a long leadership career having most recently been Chief Executive at Lancashire County Council. Prior to this she was the Executive Director for the Environment for the council. Ms Turton has worked in a range of local authorities from large metropolitan areas such as Manchester and Liverpool as well as smaller rural areas such as Shropshire. Ms Turton also spent time at the Audit Commission where she worked with other sectors such as the NHS and advised local authorities from Durham to Exeter. She will officially join Essex County Fire and Rescue Service on 1st April.