Honorary degree for retired Chief Fire Officer

Former Chief Fire Officer Paul HancockFormer Chief Fire Officer Paul Hancock received an honorary degree of doctor of science (DSc) from the University of Chester today (7 November 2018)

Paul received the degree in recognition of his outstanding contribution as Chief Fire Officer of Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service and as president of the Chief Fire Officers Association.

Paul joined Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service in 1985 as a firefighter and subsequently served in a variety of operational and technical roles, including station and area command, progressing to Assistant Chief Fire Officer with responsibility for integrated risk management planning, community risk management (prevention and protection), ICT, projects and business continuity.

Paul moved to Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service in 2007 as Deputy Chief and was appointed Chief Fire Officer and Chief Executive in September 2009.

Between April 2016 and July 2017 Paul was also the Chief Fire Officer of Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service in a shared Chief Fire Officer arrangement between the two services.

In addition Paul was the president of the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) during 2015/16. During his term he led the transformation of CFOA to the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) and played a key role in the transfer of the fire and rescue service nationally to the Home Office from the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

Paul also chaired the Cheshire and Warrington Public Service Reform Programme Board for a number of years and was the project director for the North West Fire Control Project. 

He has a master’s in business administration, is a fellow of the Institution of Fire Engineers and an honorary fellow of the University of Central Lancashire. He was awarded the Queen’s Fire Service Medal in 2014.

Paul also played rugby union for England and Great Britain Fire Services.

He retired from the service earlier this year and Mark Cashin took up the role of Chief Fire Officer on 1 July.

Paul has since taken up the role of chair and trustee for Active Cheshire.

After receiving the honorary degree he said: “I am delighted and feel incredibly honoured to be receiving an award from the university. 

“I have been privileged to work with some amazing people over the years and I would very much like to thank them for being part of my journey.  I would also like to thank the university for its generosity in bestowing upon me an honorary doctor of science. It means a great deal to me.”

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Former Chief Fire Officer Paul Hancock