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Gloucestershire Business News

New fire chief promises continued improvements

Mark Preece has been announced as the new interim Chief Fire Officer at Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service (GFRS) following the departure of Wayne Bowcock.

Wayne recently left to become the new Chief Executive and Chief Fire Officer of Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Gloucestershire County Council wished him every success in his new position, which followed two years of significant improvements across the service.

Huge strides forward were made in many areas including the service's culture and values and approach to fire protection work, while Wayne delivered on 90 per cent of recommendations identified through audits carried out in 2018.

Mark Preece has now stepped up from his role as Deputy Chief Fire Officer to become interim Chief Fire Officer while a successor to Wayne is recruited.

He joined GFRS as Assistant Chief Fire Officer in December 2019 and became Deputy Chief Fire Officer in November 2020. Over the past year he has been co-ordinating the incredible COVID-19 response at GFRS, most recently centred around vaccination centres.

He began his career with Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service 30 years ago and has worked in a range of senior roles.

Mark Preece, Chief Fire Officer for GFRS, said: "Wayne has put strong foundations in place for the service and I am eager to keep moving forward in our improvement journey. It's a great honour to take up this position and I am committed to keeping the service heading in this positive direction."

Cllr Dave Norman, cabinet member with responsibility for the Fire and Rescue Service, said: "I would like to thank Wayne for his tireless work for the service and the many improvements he made. It was a pleasure working with him and I have no doubt Mark will continue the great progress we are making."

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