The chief fire officer of Norfolk, Roy Harold, has retired from his post with immediate effect, it has been confirmed today.
David Ashworth, a former assistant chief fire officer for the county, has been appointed to lead the service on an acting basis until a permanent successor to Mr Harold, 52, is found.
No reason has so far been given for Mr Harold’s departure, though county council officials have stressed that firefighters of his age and experience are allowed to retire at 50.
However, in September, he criticised government policy on the financing of flood response work and warned that the brigade would not do such work at all from February next year if a solution was not found.
In a statement this afternoon, Tom McCabe, Norfolk County Council’s director of community and environmental services, said: “Roy has been a committed advocate for the Fire and Rescue Service and has been worked hard to further the integration of the service with other emergency services. We wish him a long and happy retirement.
“David Ashworth is a Norfolk man through and through with a wealth of fire-fighting experience. He has all the qualities necessary to make a success of his new role.”
Mr Harold has been in the fire service for more than 26 years, serving in London, Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire, plus the Fire Service Inspectorate, before joining the Norfolk brigade in 2010.
He became chief fire officer in September last year, succeeding Nigel Williams.