Norfolk has a new chief fire officer following the appointment of Roy Harold to replace Nigel Williams who retires next week.
Mr Harold has over 25 years’ fire and rescue service experience, in London Fire Brigade, Cambridgeshire, Buckinghamshire and HM Fire Services Inspectorate, where he was a member of the integrated risk management support team.
He joined Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) as assistant chief fire officer in 2010 and was promoted to deputy chief fire officer in 2013. He replaces Nigel Williams who retires on Tuesday.
In addition to chief fire officer, Roy will take on the role of assistant director for fire and community resilience at Norfolk County Council which encompasses trading standards, community safety and emergency planning.
Roy is married to Julie and has two sons, Gareth who is currently studying at the University of East Anglia and Matthew who is at the University of Hertfordshire.
He said: “I am honoured to have been appointed to the role of chief fire officer and assistant director for fire and community resilience. It is an enormous privilege and responsibility to be entrusted with the public’s safety, and I will work as hard as I possibly can to repay that trust. The outgoing chief fire officer, Nigel Williams, has been an inspirational leader who has made great strides to improve the services we provide whilst also delivering substantial budget reductions. He will be a tough act to follow. Norfolk has one of the best fire and rescue services in the country, at one of the lowest costs.
“All public services face significant challenges over the coming years, and we in the county council will work with our partners to collectively deliver the best outcomes we can, but public safety is a shared responsibility for everybody in Norfolk, so we will need to work with the public to help them stay safe.
“We have made real and substantial improvements in fire safety over the last decade, but injury rates on our roads are not improving in the same way, and we are now rescuing many more people from road crashes than we do from fires. We will therefore be making road safety a key priority, and focusing on educating road users to stay safe and prevent crashes.”
Roy served as chairman of the Chief Fire Officers’ Association water rescue group from 2010 – 2014 where he led the national flood support team. During the 2007 floods, he was seconded to a number of fire services to provide strategic and tactical support.
He is an accredited civil protection expert adviser with the EU Civil Protection mechanism. He was joint author of the fire service manual Safe Work at Height and project chairman on the National Operations Guidance for Water Rescue and Flooding. He has contributed to a range of national and international publications, including Government White Papers and EU flood management guidance. Roy completed an MBA with the Open University in 2006.
Roy was awarded an MBE in 2006, for his work on fire service modernisation and national contingency planning.
Paul Smyth, chairman of Norfolk County Council’s communities committee said: “The county should be very grateful for the sterling service and leadership Nigel Williams has provided as chief fire officer. Roy Harold’s appointment as his successor is very welcome, he has had a key role in much of NFRS’s development in recent years and has the skills and experience required to steer the fire service through this challenging chapter in the county council’s history. I am sure the excellent relationship the communities committee has with NFRS will continue under his leadership of the service.”