Third time lucky! Northamptonshire fire chief announces retirement plan AGAIN

Commissioner salutes Darren Dovey for leading service through 'considerable financial and organisational challenges'

By Kevin Nicholls
Friday, 11th February 2022, 11:20 am

Northamptonshire fire chief Darren Dovey says he plans to finally retire later this year — at the THIRD attempt — after 35 years in the fire service.

Mr Dovey has been at the helm of Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue since April 2016 and delayed his planned retirement twice — first to manage the transfer of governance to Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold and again in 2020 to lead the service through the Covid-19 pandemic.

He confirmed his intentions to quit in October as early as possible to give Mr Mold time to recruit a replacement.

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Fire chief Darren Dovey announced plans to retire in October

Mr Dovey said: “It has been an absolute privilege to lead Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service through some very difficult times with the old county council and to steer the work that has given the service stability from which to ensure it is fit to face the challenges of keeping the community safe in the future.

“I feel very fortunate to have spent my career doing something that I love and which is so strongly supported by the public. Keeping people safe is a vocation and it’s been a very rewarding role.

“I am very grateful to have worked with people over the years who share that passion to serve their community and I am confident that I will leave Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue Service in a strong position to take the next steps it needs to take."

Mr Dovey is also chair of the Local Resilience Forum, which co-ordinates the county’s response to major emergencies including the pandemic, and held in high regard by all the county's 500-plus full-time and on-call fire fighters and staff.

He was born in London but lived in Northampton since the age of seven, growing up and going to school in the Thorplands area. He joined Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue in 1987 and transferred to London Fire Brigade in 1999 before moving 'home' in 2008 as an area manager.

During his career he worked on the fire at Windsor Castle, was at Russell Square as part of the response to the 7/7 bombings in London and attended the Buncefield Oil Depot fire near the M1 in Hertfordshire.

Fire Commissioner Stephen Mold admitted: "Darren’s will be big shoes to fill.

“I’m very grateful for the leadership that Darren has brought and the determined way he dealt with the considerable financial and organisational challenges.

“I’ve been constantly impressed by his determination to make our fire service an effective organisation that truly meets the needs of the community and has the safety of the public and its staff at the heart of everything it does.

"That’s been very clear during the pandemic when Darren ensured the Fire & Rescue Service stepped up to support other agencies as well as focusing on their day job.”