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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 January 2007, 16:44 GMT
'No cuts' vow from new fire chief
Paul Young
The two fire and rescue services will merge on 1 April
The first chief fire officer of Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service will be Paul Young, who is the current chief fire officer of Devon.

Mr Young said the merger of the two brigades would not compromise its emergency response.

He said the merger would see no station closures, no reduction in frontline fire engines, firefighters or compulsory redundancies.

"People can still expect to see local firefighters responding," he said.

New authority

His deputies will be Clive Kemp, chief fire officer of Somerset since 2001, and Robert Fyfe, a deputy chief fire officer in Devon since 2005.

The fire and rescue services for Devon and Somerset will merge to form one organisation under the control and direction of the new combined Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Authority from 1 April.

The merger will create the sixth largest fire and rescue service in England and Wales, with a frontline service of almost 2,000 uniformed staff and 220 non-uniformed support staff.

Mr Young joined the London Fire Brigade in 1973. In 1985 he moved to Devon as a divisional commander and in 1990 to Somerset to take up the post of deputy chief fire officer which was followed in 1992 with promotion to chief fire officer.

He returned to Devon as chief fire officer in 1997 and managed the move to Combined Fire Authority status the following year.

Mr Young was made an OBE in the Queens Birthday Honours list in June 2001.




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