New fire chief appointed for East Sussex

Gary Walsh SUS-150807-161303001
Gary Walsh SUS-150807-161303001

East Sussex Fire Authority announced its decision to appoint Gary Walsh as chief fire officer and chief executive from October.

He is currently deputy chief fire officer, having joined East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service in 2003.

Gary has recently been awarded a Queen’s Fire Service Medal for services to the Fire and Rescue Service in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

East Sussex Fire Authority chairman Phil Howson said, “Finding the right person for this role is vitally important for the future of the service in these challenging times.

“There is a great deal of work already underway which will transform the service. Gary Walsh has a wealth of experience which means he can provide continuity and stability, as well as the leadership it needs to achieve the best for the communities we serve.”

He will take up the role on October 1, after Des Prichard steps down after 14 years as chief fire officer and chief executive.

Mr Prichard announced he would step down in April, and the fire service “reluctantly” accepted the decision.

At the time, Mr Howson said, “After a career lasting 39 years, 14 as chief fire officer at East Sussex, he has decided that this is the right time to step down.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his hard work and dedication in making East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service one of the most innovative and forward thinking services in the country.

“Des has been a passionate advocate of community safety, and has shown his personal leadership and commitment to the delivery of a high performing emergency service during his time in office.”