Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service confirms principal officer appointments

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service has appointed two new principal officers who will help to develop and lead ambitious plans to keep the county safe and well.

Lee Shears and Neil Griffiths will officially take up their respective positions of Deputy Chief Fire Officer and Assistant Chief Fire Officer on Monday 1 May.

Lee, 47, started his career as an apprentice firefighter in Cheshire in 1993 and has since undertaken roles across a range of fire and rescue functions, including Prevention, Protection and Emergency Response. He also spent 18 months seconded to the Home Office as a Fire Adviser to the Minister for Policing and Fire and the Chief Fire and Rescue Advisers’ Team.

He lives in Lymm with his partner and two-year-old son.

He said: “I feel incredibly honoured to be appointed to the role of Deputy Chief in Cheshire where it all started as a 17 year old apprentice. I am passionate about the work that the Fire and Rescue Service does on a daily basis to keep people safe and am extremely proud of the dedicated professionals across the service that do this work. I am looking forward to continuing this good work and delivering the best service possible for the people of Cheshire and our employees.

Originating from Wrexham in North Wales, Neil, 54, lives in Edgmond, near Newport in Shropshire. He is married with two children. He has worked in Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service for four years, joining as Head of Service Delivery in 2019 after spending 19 years with Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Neil has worked across every function within the Fire and Rescue Service over his career, including Training and Development, Incident Command, Prevention and Protection, Operations Risk, Planning and Service Delivery. Prior to becoming a firefighter in 2000, he had previously worked for a large private sector leisure provider and several local authorities as a leisure centre manager and sports development officer.

He completed a Master’s degree in Business Administration in 2021 and was the Chair of the National Fire Chiefs Council On-Call Practitioners Group between 2019 and 2022. He is looking forward to his new role.

“After spending almost four years as Head of Service Delivery I am delighted to have been appointed as Assistant Chief Fire Officer. I have the privilege of working with some amazing people in Cheshire and I believe, together, we have all achieved many great things, especially throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. My priorities include continuing this great work by engaging with colleagues, our staff networks, partner agencies and communities, to improve our Service in every aspect of what we deliver”.

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