Chief Fire Officer Darren Dovey of Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service has announced his intention to retire later this year after 35 years in the fire service.
Darren has been at the helm of Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service since April 2016 and delayed his planned retirement twice – firstly to manage the transfer of the governance of the fire service to Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold and then again in 2020 to lead the service through the pandemic.
Darren will leave in October and has announced his intentions as early as possible to give the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner time to recruit a new Chief Fire Officer and to support that process.
Of his time with Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service, Darren Dovey said: “It has been an absolute privilege to lead Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service through some very difficult times with the old county council and to steer the work that has given the Service stability from which to ensure it is fit to face the challenges of keeping the community safe in the future.
“I feel very fortunate to have spent my career doing something that I love and which is so strongly supported by the public. Keeping people safe is a vocation and it’s been a very rewarding role.
“I am very grateful to have worked with people over the years who share that passion to serve their community and I am confident that I will leave Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service in a strong position to take the next steps it needs to take.
“I’ll be working hard over the coming months to help embed the progress that has been made over the past few years and to make sure that the improvements we have made to the service we provide are sustainable and are the foundations that make Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service even stronger in the future.”
Darren Dovey is also Chair of the Local Resilience Forum, which co-ordinates the county’s response to major emergencies, including the pandemic.
Darren Dovey was appointed Chief Fire Officer on 1 April 2016. He was born in London but has lived in Northampton since the age of 7, growing up and going to school in the Thorplands area.
He joined Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue in 1987 and transferred to London Fire Brigade in 1999 moving to Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service in 2008 as an area manager. During his career he worked on the fire at Windsor Castle, was at Russell Square as part of the response to the 07/07 bombings in London and attended the Buncefield Oil Depot fire in Hertfordshire. In 2005, he was press liaison officer at the scene of a fatal house fire in Stoke Newington in which three children died.
Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold said: “I’m very grateful for the leadership that Darren has brought to Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service and the determined way he dealt with the considerable financial and organisational challenges that the service has faced.
“I’ve been constantly impressed by his determination to make our fire service an effective organisation that truly meets the needs of the community and has the safety of the public and its staff at the heart of everything it does. That’s been very clear during the pandemic, when Darren has ensured that Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service has stepped up to support other agencies as well as focussing on their day job, and I know how much that commitment is appreciated.
“Darren’s will be big shoes to fill but he can be assured that he will leave Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service in a much stronger place than it was when he became Chief Fire Officer.”