Essex County FRS names Rick Hylton as preferred candidate for Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive

Roger Hirst, the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, has selected Rick Hylton as his preferred candidate to become the next Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive of Essex County Fire and Rescue Service.

Rick is currently the Deputy Chief Fire Officer of the service and was selected 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 will present Rick as his preferred candidate to the Police, Fire and Crime Panel at a statutory confirmation hearing that will take place on 21 October.

Roger said, “Rick’s selection is well deserved. He is an out-standing 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 I, along with the rest of the recruitment panel, were impressed with his aspirations to take the service forwards.”

Rick joined Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service in 1997. Having worked in a variety of roles he was appointed Head of Community Safety in 2010, where he delivered a progressive approach to targeted home safety. In 2015 Rick led the service to achieve Excellence in Equality and inclusion and a year later he was appointed Assistant Chief Fire Officer with responsibilities for service delivery and operational support, where he led the Service IRMP implementation including changes to crewing systems and the introduction of portable misting systems for vulnerable persons.

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. In 2020 Rick was the co-Chair of the Essex Strategic Coordination Group for the Covid-19 pandemic.

Rick Hylton said, “I feel truly honoured to have been selected as the preferred candidate in this process for the Chief Fire Officer. I am privileged to be the Deputy Chief Fire Officer here at Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, and I welcome the opportunity to have been shortlisted to become CFO for the service and to continue working with my colleagues.”