THE Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) is gearing up to welcome its new deputy chief fire officer.

Ben Norman, currently assistant chief fire officer at Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS), will join GMFRS’ executive board in February next year, following the departure of Dawn Docx.

GMFRS’ chief fire officer Dave Russel said: “Ben will join a proud team of colleagues in Greater Manchester at a pivotal time in our service’s history, as we continue to implement a programme of major change, designed to improve our service and importantly, the services we deliver to the people of Greater Manchester. I’m very much looking forward to working closely with him.”

Ben has served for more than 24 years in Lancashire, where he lives with his wife and daughters.

Discussing the new role, Ben said: “Greater Manchester’s Deputy Mayor and Chief Fire Officer launched a four-year Fire Plan earlier this year, detailing how work to date will be enhanced through a culture of excellence, equality and inclusivity, leading to further improvements in prevention, protection and response services, and I am very much looking forward to playing an important role in this going forward.

“Having worked alongside GMFRS during several incidents and activities over the years, I have every confidence that I am joining a team of colleagues who have huge passion, energy and capability to deliver bold ambitions.”

Ben was involved in the Winter Hill fire in 2018, when both GMFRS and LFRS worked closely for several weeks to bring the moorland fire under control.