Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

DebateNI home of Northern Ireland politics

Public Safety Minister responds to fire board chairman’s resignation

Stormont Executive press release - Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety

The Chairman of the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service Board, Dr Joe McKee, OBE, has announced his intention to step aside at the end of this year.

Dr McKee, a former firefighter himself, took over as Chairman of the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service Board on 1 January 2011.

Commenting on Dr McKee’s resignation, Public Safety Minister, Edwin Poots said: “Dr McKee has worked hard at leading the fire and rescue service over the past two and half years facing some difficult issues and challenges along the way.

“The Service has been going through significant transition and change in recent years both operationally and organisationally which Dr McKee has embraced with dedication and commitment. He was instrumental in bringing in an interim Chief Executive to the fire service to bolster the senior management team and to take forward the change management agenda.

“He has made many friends during his term of office and made time in his busy schedule to visit fire stations and speak with firefighters. He made no secret of how proud he was of them and the entire fire and rescue service. However, recent months have been very difficult and it is understandable that Dr McKee has chosen to move on.

“I know that Joe has many outside interests and I wish him well with those for the future. I will commence a process to recruit a new Chairman in the near future.”

Notes to editors:

1. The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service Board (NIFRS) was established on 1 July 2006 and replaced the Fire Authority for Northern Ireland.

2. The NIFRS is responsible for providing fire and rescue services across Northern Ireland and is funded by the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety. It is managed by a Board comprising a non-executive Chair, the Chief Fire Officer and 10 non-executive members.

3. Dr Joe McKee, OBE, was appointed Chairman of the NIFRS Board on 1 January 2011.

4. The post will be advertised in early September 2013 and filled through the normal public appointment’s process.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk