Chief Fire Officer bids farewell to the fire service

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Cambridgeshire’s chief fire officer Chris Strickland will be hanging up his uniform for good this week as he retires from the fire and rescue service after a career spanning over four decades.

Chris, who has held the top position for the past eight years, will step down from the role at the end of this month now his successor has been announced as CFRS’s current Deputy Chief Executive Matthew Warren.

Chris joined Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service in 2007 to take up the role of assistant chief fire officer, after serving 24 years with Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service. Chris was promoted to deputy chief in 2008 before becoming chief fire officer in 2016. He was awarded the Queen’s Fire Service Medal in 2020.

Chris reflected: “I consider myself honoured and extremely privileged to have been able to lead Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service for the past eight years. I am proud of what we have collectively achieved over that time and will look back with particular pride and fondness at the 17, sometimes challenging but always rewarding, years I have spent in Cambridgeshire. I genuinely believe it is up there with the best fire and rescue services in the country and that’s because of the people we have working here.

“I am proud of the way we have collectively navigated through whatever has been thrown at us – budget cuts, a global pandemic, a cost of living crisis and more, whilst still continuing to improve the service we deliver to people in Cambridgeshire. We have a great culture within Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, something we have given focus to over the years, putting people at the centre of everything we do and to have that recognised in all three of our last inspections is something I am particularly proud of as I walk out the door for a final time. Our people make our Service and it is the camaraderie, laughter, friendship and teamwork that I have experienced during my tenure that I will miss the most.”

Chair of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Fire Authority, Councillor Edna Murphy, said:

“Chris has been an exemplary public servant and shown incredible leadership over the past eight years, steering the Service through a number of challenges from financial worries to an unprecedented pandemic which turned all our lives upside down. I have admired his humility, resolve and people-focused decision-making throughout and he should be immensely proud of his achievements.

“I speak on behalf of the whole Fire Authority when we say we will miss Chris and what he brings to the Service and wish him all the very best for the next chapter of his life.”

Chris is now looking forward to some rest and relaxation, and spending more time with his family.




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