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Wanted: new chief fire officer

PUBLISHED: 10:24 31 March 2010 | UPDATED: 17:15 30 June 2010

The hunt is on to find a new chief fire officer for Norfolk, at a time when the fire service is facing a controversial overhaul as part of a £1.5m cuts package.

The hunt is on to find a new chief fire officer for Norfolk, at a time when the fire service is facing a controversial overhaul as part of a £1.5m cuts package.

Interviews for the post, which has a salary of £120,000 a year plus benefits, will start next month; but whoever takes over from the recently-retired Richard Elliott will face a tough baptism.

After almost a decade in the top job, Mr Elliott officially retired at the weekend.

A key task for his successor will be to oversee the transformation of Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service - something has caused anger among Fire Brigades Union members.

Officials say the changes will increase rural cover and give the flexibility to deal with freak weather emergencies, such as floods, while insisting that safety remains their number-one priority.

But union leaders are furious at the prospect of job cuts and reduced fire cover in urban areas, including Norwich, and warn that the changes could cost lives.

It is against this backdrop that the new chief will begin work.

Applications for the post closed in mid-March, and county council senior figures have met already to draw up a long-list of candidates to step into Mr Elliott's shoes. Preliminary interviews are scheduled to begin in mid-April.


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