I attended the EWWF meeting that took place in Cardiff on Tuesday. At the close of the meeting, Chief Fire Officer Alex Bennett formally stepped down from his position as EWWF Chair in preparation for his retirement from Northumberland Fire & Rescue Service, in early July 2016.
I am delighted to report that I was appointed as the new Chairman, with unanimous agreement from all those present. Andrew Thomas, Assistant Chief Fire Officer of South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, was appointed as the Vice Chair of the EWWF.
I believe that the threat posed by wildfire is increasing and therefore this is an important time for the wildfire forum, and I look forward to working with the Scottish Wildfire Forum and similar organisations that operate in Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man. I am pleased that Andrew Thomas has been appointed as Vive-Chairman as it is important that good links are maintained with the Fire & Rescue Services.
I was delighted that following the recent transfer of responsibility for wildfire to their jurisdiction, The Home Office was represented for the first time at the Forum meeting. We also welcomed the attendance from The Cabinet Office, which is an important link to maintain with regard to risk planning.
I look forward to working with the range of organisations that are represented on the Forum and I am grateful for their support.