Date Published : April 2nd, 2015 Published By : admin
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service have announced its new Chief Commander is Peter O’Reilly. Mr. O’Reilly, aged 48, who has 25 years of experience in the Fire & Rescue service landed the top-level appointment following a meeting of the GMFRS Authority where he was ratified as the new Chief Fire Officer following a selection process.
Originally from Ballyvoy, Ballycastle, County Antrim, Mr. O’Reilly served with the Northern Ireland Fire & rescue Service in Belfast for twenty-one years as a firefighter, a junior officer, District Commander and then Area Commander before moving to Manchester in March 2011 as Director of Prevention and Protection where he currently holds the position of Assistant County Fire Officer until June, when he officially takes over as Chief of the Greater Manchester Fire and rescue Service, replacing Steve McGuirk who has been in charge of GMFRS since 2009 but announced in October last year that he would stand down after 39 years of service.
Announcing the appointment, Greater Manchester Fire Authority chairman councillor David Acton said: “We are very pleased that we have appointed Peter as our new chief. Steve McGuirk will be a hard act to follow but I am absolutely confident that Peter is the right person for the job. He has got a great deal of experience, both in operational and prevention work and I am sure that he will take the service forward positively.”
Mr O’Reilly, who champions the service’s work in youth development and apprenticeships, became a firefighter at the age of 23 after he worked as an apprentice engineer then in management for the city council in Belfast.
He said: “For me, this is the proudest day of my career as a firefighter. What used to be known as a fire brigade is now a much-changed service. The support of the fire authority has been the key to that.”
He added “Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service is probably the most innovative fire service in the country. We have laid the way in the future of fire fighting, community engagement and keeping the public safer. Our firefighters are working with young people that do not have the privileges that I had.”
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service is one of the largest fire and rescue services in the country. Firefighters cover an area of approximately 500 square miles and look after an estimated 2.5 million people. Mr O’Reilly’s post attracts a salary of around £150,000.