New chief fire officer announced for Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service

PUBLISHED: 15:25 23 October 2008 | UPDATED: 09:52 10 June 2010

THE next chief fire officer of Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service will be Lee Howell, it has been announced today.

THE next chief fire officer of Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service will be Lee Howell, it has been announced today.

Mr Howell is currently the chief fire officer and director of public protection for Suffolk County Council, responsible for Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service.

When Mr Howell was appointed at Suffolk's chief in December 2004 at the age of 35, he became the youngest chief fire officer within the United Kingdom.

He takes over from Paul Young, the current Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service chief, early next year.

Mr Howell said he was looking forward to taking Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service into the future.

"It is a very highly respected and effective fire service and I am privileged to have been offered the role of chief fire officer and look forward to take on the role in the New Year," he said.

Authority chairman Cllr Bernard Hughes said: "Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Authority has been successful in appointing a chief officer of a very high calibre who comes to us with excellent experience of several fire authorities and will provide a fresh impetus to carry on the work of our well respected chief fire officer Paul Young.

"I am personally, and I am sure all members of the fire authority and service itself will be, happy to work with the new chief fire officer.

We have appointed a person who not only has a wealth of experience in the day-to-day managing of Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service but has also held many appointments at national level."

Mr Howell's responsibilities at Suffolk include managing a joint district-county emergency planning team, the Trading Standards Service and social inclusion/diversity team for the county.

He has several county wide references for Suffolk County Council and with five corporate directors collectively manage a revenue budget of £800m and 27,000 employees.

He is a strategic advisor to the local government association and the chairman of the national prevention committee.

He holds a masters degree in business administration and a bachelors degree in fire safety engineering. He is a member of the institute of directors and a fellow of the institution of fire engineers.

He is married and has two children.

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