The managers of a fire department is often known as a chief fire officer. They are in effect the senior managers of the fire services, and their rank holds many responsibilities. Their role is to prevent injury, the loss of life as well as damage to property in the community arising from fire hazards.

Through their experience and management skill sets these chief executives are expected to take control of dangerous major incidents like fire outbreaks or hazardous chemical leaks. All CFO’s are members of a national body called the Chief Fire Officers Association, which is a registered charity, and is though of as the voice of the Fire Service in the UK.

There are many ways in which a fire fighter can get to this high position, they can be promoted through the ranks based on their merit or experience or they can on rare occasions be appointed to the position.

Job description
A Chief fire officer is in charge of the routine administrative running of a County Fire Service or a Local Authority Fire Service, as well as the discipline and training for their department. They decide on staff recruitment and where and when to advertise for fire service jobs. A CFO is also involved in the planning and strategy of their fire service alongside local councillors are council officials.

They also regularly attend the scene of major emergencies to take control of the situation. This could be a blaze in a building, or the scene of a serious accident.
They are also involved in investigations into major incidents to find out the cause of a fire.

A CFO will regularly have meetings with the managers from other emergency services like the police or ambulance service. Where practises and procedures like Operational Response are discussed to try to improve co-ordination between them and the local Fire Authority.

The uniform and hat they wear will identify them and make them stand out from other ranks in the fire service.


Further information:

The Chief Fire Officers’ Association
9-11 Pebble Close
B77 4RD
Telephone: 01827 302 300