Chris Kenny, Chief Fire Officer of Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, announced his plans for retirement on 01 February 2019.
After forty years’ Service, after originally joining Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service in 1978, Chris has decided now is the time to retire ahead of a milestone birthday later in the year.
Following a busy year for Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service with two wholetime recruitment courses, major incidents at Blackpool Tower and Winter Hill, along with the HMICFRS independently confirming that Lancashire are the best Fire and Rescue Service they have inspected to date, it seems a fitting time for Chris to hand over the reins in April 2019.
Chris has been Chief Fire Officer of Lancashire since October 2012 after joining the county in 2000 as Head of Service Training Centre before moving up the ranks to Assistant Chief Fire Officer in 2003. Before that he spent his early years working for Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service before his transfer across the border into Lancashire.
Speaking of his retirement Chris said: “I would like to thank everyone for their support and company throughout the inevitable ups and downs that make up any Fire and Rescue Service career. At all levels it remains simply the best job there is, in the best Service. That is to the credit of all the staff who every day give that bit extra despite the challenges we have faced and the savings we have had to make.
“I am sure Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service will continue to go from strength to strength, do what is best for the communities we serve and I am confident that whoever takes over from me will be as well supported as I have been.”
Chris has led on a number of projects for Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service including the Regional Control Centre Project and secured government approval for the North West on the Private Finance Initiative project to deliver 16 new fire stations across Lancashire, Merseyside and Cumbria. As well as leading the way for Lancashire Chris also as numerous accolades under his belt including being one of the first students to pass the Fire Engineering Degree at UCLan in 1995, attained Chartered Engineer status in 1997, achieve two Masters Degrees and in 2013 was awarded the Queens Fire Service Medal in Her Majesty’s New Year’s Honours List.
Responding to the news, the Chair of Lancashire Combined Fire Authority, County Councillor Frank De Molfettta, said: “As a member of the Lancashire Combined Fire Authority for nearly fourteen years and serving as its Chair for six, I have a long and well-founded appreciation of Chris’s exceptional qualities as a Chief Fire Officer and as a person.
“His informal message to colleagues announcing his retirement typifies a management style that has proved hugely effective, focused on his responsibility to lead and give a strategic steer to deal with the big issues, but never losing sight of the importance of his greatest resource – his staff – and the team effort required to deliver a consistently high level of public service.
“I share Chris’s confidence in the certainty that his successor will lead a Service that will continue to perform at the highest level, fully supported as ever by the Lancashire Combined Fire Authority.
“On behalf of the Fire Authority and speaking for myself as someone who has enjoyed working with him as productively as we have done I wish Chris the very best for a long and happy retirement and offer our profound thanks for his immense contribution to the public good.”
Chris will retire from his post as Chief Fire Officer for Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service on 30 April 2019 and the Service look forward to announcing his successor in due course.