Kathryn Billing announced as new Chief Fire Officer for Cornwall

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Cornwall is to have its first female Chief Fire Officer after current temporary assistant chief officer Kathryn Billing was confirmed for the role.

Kathryn, who has spent her career within the Cornwall fire service, is also the first woman to take on the chief officer role in the wider South West.

She started as an on-call firefighter in Redruth and progressing through to Area Commander for Operations in Cornwall.  She has a strong focus on equality and has spoken on the national and international stage on the issue.

Kathryn will succeed Interim Chief Officer Mark Hewitt, who has led the service since September 2019.

Kathryn said:  “I am extremely proud and privileged to be appointed as the next Chief Fire Officer of Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service.

“This is quite an historic moment to become the first female Chief within the South West and for Cornwall.

“I have only ever wanted to serve the people in our Duchy, the place where I was born and have grown up.

“We have the most fantastic passionate and professional people and I look forward to taking us forward and delivering our service for One and All.”

Sophie Hosking, Strategic Director for Neighbourhoods, said:  “I am delighted to announce that Kathryn is to become the first female Chief Officer for the Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service, and it seems appropriate to be able to announce the news during the week we marked International Women’s Day.

“I have every confidence she will do a superb job, and look forward to working alongside her.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to say thank you to Mark Hewitt, who has been our interim chief officer since September 2019.  Mark has done a brilliant job leading the service through a very challenging 18 months.”

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