New Chief Fire Officer of Northumberland Fire & Rescue Service chosen

Northumberland Fire & Rescue Service (NFRS) has announced current Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Graeme Binning, will be the new Chief Fire Officer (CFO).

He’ll be taking up the role following the retirement of current chief Paul Hedley in August.

Graeme has had a long career across fire and rescue services spanning over two decades. He joined Hampshire Fire Rescue in 2001 before transferring to Strathclyde Fire Brigade, which later became Strathclyde Fire and Rescue before the creation of the single Scottish Fire and Rescue Service in 2013.

In his time north of the border, Graeme worked across multiple portfolios in several different areas of Scotland before joining NFRS in 2020 as Deputy Chief Fire Officer.

Since coming to Northumberland, he has led on the creation of systems and processes to develop a culture of continuous improvement in the service as a key part of the County Council, along with close partnership working at a regional and national level.

Graeme is a proud dad of 14-year-old Molly and husband to his wife Jodi and outside work enjoys running, cycling and the occasional triathlon.

Graeme said: “It’s a great honour to be appointed as the new Chief Fire Officer, and I’m excited to be following the good work of Paul. Northumberland is a beautiful place to work, and I’m happy to be working alongside people who make this county proud and to be serving the people in it.”

Glen Sanderson, Leader of the County Council, added: “First and foremost I would like to extend my congratulations to Graeme on achieving this promotion – it is very well deserved. I’ve had the pleasure of working closely with Graeme and the rest of the senior management team at the fire service and know he will be an excellent appointment.”

Chief Fire Officer, Paul Hedley, said: “I’m delighted that Graeme will be the next CFO of Northumberland.

“Graeme has been the Deputy Chief for the last two and a half years and he has already made a tremendous impact during that time, leading on some hugely significant service improvements and he’s an integral member of Northumberland FRS and County Council.

“To have an officer of Graeme’s quality and calibre leading our service and our wider directorate, means that our staff, residents and partners can have confidence that we will continue our work to respond to the changing needs of our communities and improve all aspects of our service delivery.”

Councillor Gordon Stewart, Chair of the Fire Authority, added: “We are pleased to be able to confirm Graeme as the next Chief Fire Officer.

“He impressed the interview panel with his skills, knowledge, experience and firm commitment to continuing the great strides the fire service has made in recent years.

“Graeme will be a great asset to the service and the communities of Northumberland.”

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