07 July 2011
The Minister for Home Affairs has confirmed that the Chief Fire Officer has been granted an extension to his initial five year contract and will remain in his current role on a permanent basis.
Mark James was appointed to the role in June 2007 having been an experienced senior fire officer with Essex Fire and Rescue Service. He was recently awarded a major accolade for his contribution to the fire profession. He is the first person in the Channel Islands to be made a Fellow of the Institute of Fire Engineers (FiFireE), which is only awarded to people who have demonstrated successful leadership, significant individual responsibility, sustained achievement and exceptional contribution to the fire engineering profession over an extended period.
The Fire and Rescue Service has undergone significant change over the past four years and Mr James has been instrumental in leading these changes and re-structuring the senior management team at the Fire and Rescue Service, resulting in opportunities for internal candidates to be considered for the Chief’s post in the future. He has brought strong leadership and a fresh viewpoint to the Service and has championed the promotion of community fire safety in the Island. This was recently recognised when the Jersey Fire and Rescue Service was short listed as a finalist in the UK's 2011 Fire Excellence Awards.
In addition, the Comprehensive Spending Review identified a number of areas for joint working with the Ambulance Service which provide a strong basis for future collaboration between the services. Mr James will take a lead role in the planning, development and implementation of these and other significant change initiatives.
The Minister said "I am delighted to be able to retain the expertise and experience that Mark James has brought to the post so that he can bring about the necessary changes faced by the Fire and Rescue Service. There is still a lot to do in order to create a structure within the service where personal development and career progression opportunities are available from the bottom to the top of the organisation. Mark’s retention will provide the much needed continuity and stability over a period of significant change and challenge'.