Essex County FRS names Rick Hylton as new Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive

Roger Hirst, the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex has announced that Rick Hylton is the new Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive of Essex County Fire and Rescue Service.

Members of the Police, Fire and Crime Panel confirmed his appointment on 29 October after he was selected as Roger’s preferred candidate for the role.

In 2019, Rick joined Essex County Fire and Rescue Service as the Deputy Chief Fire Officer. Rick has responsibilities for strategic planning, assurance and performance and is the strategic lead for collaboration, working with partners to deliver on the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner’s local business case.

Roger said, “Rick has been integral to the change programme for the service that was put in place Jo Turton when she was Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive. We are sure he will work effectively to complete the changes outlined in our Fire and Rescue Plan for Essex.”

Rick is currently the Deputy Chief Fire Officer of the service and was chosen following a rigorous and competitive process. He came out ahead of a strong field of national and international candidates from both fire and rescue services, public and private sector organisations, with the rest of the interview panel unanimously supporting his selection.

Roger continued, “Rick’s appointment is well deserved. He is an outstanding individual who has already contributed so much to both the service and Greater Essex as co-Chair of the Essex Resilience Forum, helping to lead Essex as we worked through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“He is highly respected as Deputy Chief Fire Officer, building trusted relationships within the service as well as with partners and communities across Essex. He will continue to build on the great work and progress the service has made and has great aspirations to take the Service forwards.”

Rick Hylton said, “I feel truly honoured to have been selected for the role of Chief Fire Officer and Chief Executive for Essex County Fire and Rescue Service. I am privileged to have been the Deputy Chief Fire Officer for the last three years, and I welcome the opportunity to now be the CFO for the service and to continue working with my colleagues.

“As the new Chief Fire Officer, it is my desire to continue to build on and develop our partnerships, ensuring that we play a full and active role in keeping our communities safe, while providing an environment where our staff and volunteers feel valued and can contribute and deliver their very best.”

John Gili-Ross, Chair of the Police, Fire and Crime Panel, said, “We were pleased to confirm the interview and selection panel’s view that Rick Hylton will be the next Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive for Essex County Fire and Rescue Service. Jo Turton has done a great job and we look forward to seeing the Service continue to improve and provide an excellent service for the people of Essex. Under Rick’s leadership we are expecting it to become one of the highest performing fire and rescue services in the country.”