A new Chief Fire Officer and Chief Executive has been appointed to replace Richard Hannigan, who retires at the end of March 2014.
Current Deputy Chief Fire Officer Dene Sanders has been promoted to the role and will take over from 1 April next year. The Service’s current Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Chris Blacksell, has also successfully been appointed to take the position as Deputy Chief Fire Officer from April.
The decision comes following a meeting of the Fire Authority earlier this week which ratified the recommendation of the Appointments Committee, following an interview and assessment process, to appoint both Dene and Chris into the roles.
Chief Fire Officer Richard Hannigan said: “Both officers have proven to be highly effective in their current roles and I am confident that they will provide the continuity of leadership to take the Service forward in these challenging times.”
Dene Sanders has extensive service with the organisation, having joined as a firefighter in 1986 and served in many areas, on both sides of the river in a variety of roles including Divisional Commander, before joining the Corporate Management Team at headquarters.
During his career to date he has been responsible for serving as lead officer in restructuring the Service from four divisions to the current system of Community Protection Units serving the East Riding, Hull, North East Lincolnshire and North Lincolnshire areas. He is also credited with the introduction of fitness and absence monitoring schemes which has resulted in sickness absence among operational staff being almost halved since their inception.
DCFO Sanders said: “I am both honoured and delighted to have been appointed to the role of Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive for Humberside Fire and Rescue Service. Whilst these are tough times for all our public services I still firmly believe we can building on our current successes and improve the Service still further.
“I have dedicated the majority of my working life to this Service and am looking forward to leading it through a period of unprecedented change, challenge and opportunity whilst at the same time, keeping all of our communities and firefighters safe,” Dene said.
Chris Blacksell joined Humberside Fire and Rescue Service in March 1988 as a firefighter at Hull Central Fire Station and served in every role at that station from firefighter to station commander. His career has also seen extensive service elsewhere, including periods at Bridlington, Immingham and Scunthorpe as well as work in the training department. During his career he also completed a Masters degree in Fire Investigation and became one of the first Regional Fire Investigators, working on a number of high profile cases. In his current position, ACFO Blacksell is responsible for Community Safety, Health and Safety, and Corporate Planning and is also a Director of the Service’s trading company, HFR Solutions.
ACFO Blacksell said: “I am delighted to be appointed as Deputy Chief Fire Officer. I have always been extremely proud to work for Humberside Fire and Rescue Service and it will be an honour to take up the post. I realise it is a challenging period for all public services but we are lucky to have fantastic staff right across the Service and so I am confident we will continue to deliver, and improve, upon the excellent service that the public expect, and deserve.”
CFO Hannigan will leave the Service on 31 March after a 31 year career during which he has seen the organisation become one of the country’s most successful fire and rescue services.