Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) will welcome a new Chief Fire Officer later this year.
Dave Russel, currently Deputy Chief Fire Officer at Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS), will take over the helm from current Chief Fire Officer Jim Wallace, whose two-year contract finishes at the end of August.
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, in his role as Fire Commissioner, officially announced Dave’s appointment following a confirmation hearing before the Police, Crime and Fire Panel.
Dave has 29 years of service at LFRS and has worked across the county in various roles. He has held the post of Deputy Chief Fire Officer since May 2019 and is responsible for all aspects of service delivery, training and operational review, and mobilising.
Dave was Incident Commander at the Winter Hill moorland fire two years ago, and more recently, he has led LFRS’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: “Our fire service has gone through some challenging times in the last couple of years but is now on much firmer foundations. I want to thank our current Chief Fire Officer Jim Wallace for leading the service through this difficult phase and we all wish him well for the future.
“We are determined to build a fire service in which all staff feel valued and, in that regard, are confident that we have found the best possible successor to Jim in David Russel. He has been instrumental in building that culture in a neighbouring service and is the right person to lead GMFRS into a new era. We all look forward to working with him.”
Deputy Mayor for Policing, Crime, Criminal Justice and Fire, Bev Hughes, added: “I want to congratulate Dave and welcome him to Greater Manchester. He joins a fire and rescue service that is proud to serve and protect the diverse communities of Greater Manchester. I’m looking forward to working with him to continue driving forward our Programme for Change and ensure GMFRS is fit for the future.”