When I was asked to write about my role as Chairman of Devon & Somerset Fire Authority I sat back and thought where we are now as an organisation and where we were going in the future.My thoughts went back to the formation of our voluntary combined Fire Service, the first model of its kind. It took three years to mould and form something unique, "a hybrid”, so what does that term mean? The combination of two different things resulting in the development of one particular objective which I believe we have achieved. So what are the benefits of such a model? By amalgamating we became the largest Non Metropolitan Fire and Rescue Service in the UK, and after three years of virtual unification, saving’s equating to some 3.6million pounds, and a workforce proud to serve the 1.7 million people we protect, which looking back has put us on a truly sound footing for the future.
I'm a great believer that you are in charge of your own destiny. We are now ready, and have already begun our second journey of adventure, a journey towards excellence. How do we strive to arrive there in today’s economic climate? By being different, innovative, daring and brave, by thinking the unthinkable, through colleagues and peers, who have placed their trust in us as leaders, allowing us to guide them forward, especially in these uncertain times, leading them into, and in turn through the unknown and out the other side whatever that other side may be, united in the belief that we are all unified in helping to build and form an organisation that really can be deemed, excellent.