Chief Fire Officer set to retire

Chief Fire Officer Jimmy Campbell for Lothian & Borders Fire and Rescue Service at Edinburgh HQ. 29th March 2011. Picture by JANE BARLOW
Chief Fire Officer Jimmy Campbell for Lothian & Borders Fire and Rescue Service at Edinburgh HQ. 29th March 2011. Picture by JANE BARLOW

The Chief Fire Officer of Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service, who has recently been seconded to work on the reform of the Scottish fire and rescue services, is set to retire.

Jimmy Campbell has indicated his intention to retire from his post with effect from March 8. The matter will be heard at this week’s Fire and Rescue Board meeting which takes place tomorrow, Friday, February 3.

Addressing his decision to step down, Chief Fire Officer Campbell said: “It has been a privilege to serve a number of communities throughout Scotland over the past 36 years, and in particular, I look back at my time with Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service (LBFRS) with great pride.

“To attain the position of chief fire officer has been the highlight of my career, and I must pay tribute to the people who make this Service one of the most renowned emergency services in the world.

“It has been of great personal satisfaction to me to have served local communities in Scotland throughout my career and being a local man, to have come back as chief fire officer in LBFRS has been an honour.

“It is with genuine sadness that I leave the Service that I have dedicated my professional life to, especially as we face a period of tremendous change as we move from eight regional services to one national fire service.

“However, we have a tremendous ‘can do’ attitude in the emergency services and I have no doubt that we will overcome the challenges that inevitably come from such change and that the people of Scotland will benefit from the increased capacity that will come from the merger.

“Over the past few months I have led the reform agenda for the Fire and Rescue Services in Scotland and am delighted at the progress we have made.

“This is a truly historic time and I wish everyone involved my very best wishes for the future.”

In terms of the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 it is the duty of the Fire and Rescue Board to appoint its Chief Fire Officer.

Normally this would mean the Board would establish an Appointments Committee with delegated powers to undertake the recruitment and appointment of its Chief Fire Officer.

However at the meeting of the Fire and Rescue Board in October 2011, the Board agreed the secondment of Chief Fire Officer Campbell to work on reform and the creation of the single service and appointed the Deputy Chief Fire Officer Alex Clark into the role of Acting Chief Fire Officer, with effect from November 7 2011, thus meeting its statutory duty.

Taking account of the forthcoming reform of the Fire Service and the implementation of the single service for Scotland it is proposed that the Alex Clark should continue in the role of Chief Fire Officer, Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service, until the reform is implemented.