A NEW chief fire officer has been appointed in Gloucestershire after Jon Hall stepped down after four years at the top of the ladder.

Gloucestershire's new chief is Stewart Edgar, who joins the force from the Highlands and Islands.

He said it was a privilege to be appointed to the role.

"I am extremely honoured and privileged to become the new chief fire officer of Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service (GFRS) and as the operations director of the county council," he said.

"As it had always been my ambition to pursue a career in the fire and rescue service, I was delighted to become a retained firefighter with Tayside Fire Brigade in 1991, serving my local community in Carnoustie and I now consider it a privilege to continue to serve the communities of Gloucestershire. "

In Scotland Mr Edgar was instrumental in the implementation of an improvement programme relating to firefighter and community safety following the critical Audit Scotland report.

Jon Hall announced in October his intention to step down from the top post at GFRS.

He retired from the force on Friday but will continue working in the industry as he is taking up a position at the Fire Service College in Moreton-in-Marsh.

Mr Hall started work in Brighton’s fire service in 1983 and said he was proud to have ended his operational career in Gloucestershire.

Speaking in October, he said he’d been on a remarkable journey.

“I have had the privilege of working with many superb firefighters and support staff over the years and continue to be impressed with everyone who chooses to give service in this way,” he said. “Fire and rescue has been my life and has given me a more rewarding career than I ever could have hoped for.”

Geoff Sallis, who has been covering the chief fire officer position in the interim, said Mr Edgar would take up the role on Monday, February 24.

Mr Edgar added: "It is my intention to ensure that the communities of Gloucestershire continue to receive the highest standards of community safety and emergency response services and at the same time being efficient and delivering value for money."