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The new deputy chief fire officer of Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service and the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service will be Steve Apter, it has been announced today (Thursday).

Currently London Fire Brigade Deputy Commissioner (safety and assurance), Steve has almost 30 years experience as a firefighter – a career which began at Shanklin. He has been in command at incidents including the Westminster Bridge terror attack and the aftermath of Grenfell Tower. He is the national lead for the fire service on counter terrorism.

Steve was previously Chief Fire Officer of the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service and Assistant Chief Fire Officer of Hampshire before his move to London Fire Brigade. He is now returning closer to home and will work across both regions.

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Liverpool-born Steve, 52, is married with 3 children and lives on the Isle of Wight.

Speaking about his return, Steve has said:

“I am delighted to have been offered this role with a Service that is known for setting high standards across the industry.

“I am looking forward to working with the chief fire officer, the authority and all the officers and crews in our common aim of keeping the people of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight safe.”

Steve joined the IOWFRS as an on-call firefighter in 1990 after getting a degree in business and gaining private sector experience in business development for a number of years. He became a fulltime firefighter in 1991 and 20 years later was appointed Chief Fire Officer of IOWFRS. In 2014 it was named most improved service in the UK and in 2015 he led the way on a strategic partnership with HFRS.

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Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority Chairman Councillor Chris Carter said:

“We are delighted to welcome Steve Apter as new deputy chief fire officer.

“His appointment comes after a rigorous selection process that included top performers from a variety of disciplines.

“We look forward to working closely with him as we move forward and encounter exciting opportunities as a service.”

HFRS Chief Fire Officer Neil Odin said:

“We are delighted to recruit a deputy chief fire officer of such a high calibre.

“His credentials and experience will be a huge asset to the service and the public.”

Isle of Wight Cabinet Member Tig Outlaw said:

“I am delighted at the appointment of Steve Apter.

“He brings with him a combination of firefighting experience and local knowledge that can scarcely be matched.”

The announcement comes on the same day that the Isle of Wight Council’s Cabinet are due to decide on whether or not to merge the Island’s fire authority with Hampshire.

Steve will take up the role later this year ahead of current DCFO Andy Bowers’ retirement in June.

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