Tyne and Wear’s new chief firefighter says he ‘can’t wait to get started’

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Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service has a new Chief Fire Officer.

The Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Authority (TWFRA) has appointed Peter Health as the new Chief Fire Officer of Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS).

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As a result of Chris’ decision, Cllr Phil Tye, the chair of the Service’s Fire and Rescue Authority, began the task of appointing his replacement.

Following an open and robust recruitment process, Cllr Tye announced on Thursday, May 4, that Peter Heath will take on the role.

Peter joined the Fire Service in 1992 when he began his firefighting career with the Lothian and Borders Fire Brigade in Scotland.

Peter Heath, the Chief Fire Officer Designate for Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service. Peter Heath, the Chief Fire Officer Designate for Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service.
Peter Heath, the Chief Fire Officer Designate for Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service. | TWFRS

During his career, he served at several fire stations across Edinburgh and the Scottish Borders as a firefighter, leading firefighter, sub officer and station officer.

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In 2013, following the creation of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Peter was named programme manager and led work on operation response and resilence.

Peter has been serving as Deputy Chief Fire Officer in Tyne and Wear since he joined from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service in 2020.

Following the announcement, he said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my three years with the Service and am excited to continue to work hard to keep communities in Tyne and Wear safe.

“Every single day I am impressed by the hard work and dedication of staff and volunteers across the Service.

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“Whether that is front line firefighters, our Fire Control staff, or those who fulfil many of our corporate roles.

“I want to thank Chief Fire Officer Lowther for his support and guidance throughout my time in the Service.

“And I also want to thank the Fire and Rescue Authority for putting their faith in me to lead this great Service. I can’t wait to get started.”

The TWFRA has confirmed that CFO Lowther will remain in post during a handover period and he will leave the Service no later than October 31.

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During that time, Peter will hold the position of Chief Fire Officer Designate.

Chris has praised the work that Peter has already done with the Service and wished him successor well in his new role.

He commented: “Peter has had a transformational impact on the Service since he joined us three years ago.

“He knows this Service well and it makes my decision to retire a lot easier knowing that the organisation is being left in safe hands.

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“I believe TWFRS is the best fire and rescue service in the country and I look forward to seeing Peter take us to even greater heights.”

Cllr Phil Tye, the chairperson of the TWFRA, said: “I am pleased to be able to confirm Peter’s appointment as Chief Fire Officer of Tyne and Wear.

“He was an exceptional candidate and has exciting plans for how this Service can continue to create the safest community.

“Chief Fire Officer Lowther will remain in post in the coming months to ensure a smooth handover and I am confident Peter is by far the best person for the job moving forward.”

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