Oxfordshire’s Chief Fire Officer to retire

Oxfordshire’s Chief Fire Officer Dave Etheridge OBE has announced his retirement after a distinguished 32 year career in the County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service. He is also President of The Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA). Dave Etheridge OBE will retire from his role on 31 March 2017, to coincide with his final day as the President of CFOA.

Dave first joined Oxfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service as an on-call firefighter in 1985. Having transferred into the full-time service in 1987, he undertook a wide variety specialist and managerial roles before being appointed as the county’s Chief Fire Officer in June 2010.

As well as being Chief Fire Officer for the county, Dave is also a member of Oxfordshire County Council’s management team, with broader responsibility for countywide Emergency Planning, Road Safety, Business Continuity, Trading Standards and Community Safety.

In 2015 Dave was awarded an OBE for Services to the Community.in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list.

Dave Etheridge OBE said: “It has been my privilege to serve in Oxfordshire my entire career. I can honestly put my hand on my heart and say that I have thoroughly enjoyed the last 32 years. To develop from being an on-call firefighter from Abingdon to a Chief Fire Officer shows what an amazing organisation the County Council is; one that really does invest in its people.

“Over the last 15 years I have also really enjoyed working right across the council but in particular with Trading Standards, Emergency Planning and the Gypsies and Travellers Unit, helping to shape services to make a bigger difference to the public and businesses of Oxfordshire. I feel humbled and privileged to have worked with and met so many dedicated people whose commitment to public service, their role and sense of duty seems limitless and inspirational."

Councillor Rodney Rose, the Deputy Leader of Oxfordshire County Council, who also has Cabinet responsibility for Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “As Chief Fire Officer, the contribution Dave has made to Oxfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service has been enormous. I will miss him personally and would like to thank him for his commitment and hard work to make Oxfordshire a safer place to live, work and visit. I wish him all the best for the future and a happy retirement.”

New Chief Fire Officer confirmed

Simon Furlong, Deputy Chief Fire Officer of Oxfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service has been selected to become the next Chief Fire Officer when Dave Etheridge OBE retires on 31 March 2017. He will formally take up the post from 1 April 2017.

Simon Furlong said: “I feel extremely proud to have been selected to become the next Chief Fire Officer of Oxfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service. I would like to sincerely thank Chief Fire Officer Etheridge who has been a strong and inspirational leader and I am only too aware that I have big boots to fill.”