West Sussex appoints new assistant chief fire officer

West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service has appointed Peter Rickard as its new assistant chief fire officer.

Peter Rickard has been appointed West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service's new assistant chief fire officer
Peter Rickard has been appointed West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service's new assistant chief fire officer

He joins the service from London Fire Brigade (LFB) where he is currently serving as deputy assistant commissioner and head of operational risk.

He joined the fire service in 2001 at the age of 18 alongside his brother, and followed in his father’s footsteps who also served with London Fire Brigade.

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During his time with LFB he has served at a number of fire stations across the city including Brixton, Barking, Tottenham and Old Oak Common initially as a firefighter, leading firefighter, sub officer and watch manager, with time also spent in training and command support. He rose through the ranks and was promoted to station manager in 2010, and then group manager in 2016.

He has been involved in the response to a number of significant incidents during his time with LFB, including the Croydon tram crash in 2016 where he was the incident commander.

Peter’s appointment follows a robust selection and interview process which will see him take up the position of assistant chief fire officer following the departure of Jon Lacey, who left the service earlier this month to take up the role of chief fire officer at Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service.

Speaking of his appointment, Mr Rickard said: “I am delighted to have been appointed as the new assistant chief fire officer at West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service and am very much looking forward to starting work with the service in the coming weeks. I am incredibly grateful to Jon Lacey for the incredible legacy that he leaves behind, and am fully prepared to continue this good work to best serve the residents of our local communities.”

Duncan Crow, West Sussex County Council’s cabinet member for community support, fire and rescue service, said: “Peter brings with him a wealth of experience from his time serving the residents of London which puts him in good stead for taking on this fantastic leadership role within our fire and rescue service. I look forward to welcoming him to West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service.”

Sabrina Cohen-Hatton, West Sussex’s chief fire officer, said: “I would like to extend a very warm welcome to Peter as he prepares to leave London Fire Brigade, his home of the last 20 years, and embark on a new chapter of his life here with us in West Sussex.

“I am confident he become an incredible asset to our leadership team and help develop the service further to continue to best serve its communities.”