Shropshire Star

Shropshire fire service advertises for two senior officers amid investigation into WhatsApp messages

Shropshire's fire service is looking to recruit two new senior officers on £108,000-a-year.

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The Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service has published adverts for two positions within the service – both roles are at the level of 'temporary assistant chief fire officer'.

The move comes as the service attempts to resolve recent difficulties at senior management level.

The force's Chief Fire Officer, Simon Hardiman, and Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Adam Matthews, have both been off work since claims over inappropriate WhatsApp messages were made public in April following an ITV investigation.

An independent investigation into the claims is currently taking place.

In the interim Sam Burton, who was Area Manager at West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS), has been appointed as Acting Deputy Chief Fire Officer – and is in charge of the service.

Now it has been confirmed that two new temporary assistant chief fire officers are being sought – both for terms of up to 12 months.

A post advertising the jobs, with an application deadline of July 15, says the service wants "inspiring and inclusive leaders" for the positions.

The salary listed with the roles is £108,598 per year.

The advert states: "We are excited to announce an opportunity for two inspiring and inclusive leaders to join our Executive Leadership Team as Assistant Chief Fire Officers (ACFO).

"The secondments are for a period of up to 12 months with defined review periods. The posts provide unique development opportunities to make a significant impact both in our service and to the communities we serve.

"Here at the Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service, we have over 550 dedicated staff operating across 23 fire stations, covering over 1,346 square miles, serving a diverse population of over 480,000 people.

"The county of Shropshire has varied risk profile that requires the use of a range of established and innovative ways of working both individually and with partners to keep our communities safe.

"As an ACFO, you will provide strategic leadership to either service delivery or corporate services. We seek leaders who will encourage fresh thinking, foster collaboration, and champion inclusivity in all aspects of our work.

"In 2025, SFRS will launch its 2025 to 2029 Community Risk Management Plan. These roles will be pivotal in shaping this plan, ensuring it reflects our commitment to delivering the best possible service to Shropshire through clear and strategic priorities."