Principal officer appointments

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service has announced the appointments of two new principal officers, to help lead the Service as it develops ambitious new plans to enhance the way it keeps the county safe and well.

Lee Shears took up the position of Deputy Chief Fire Officer on Monday 1 May, having served as a temporary assistant chief fire officer since the autumn. Neil Griffiths, also a temporary assistant chief fire officer, has been confirmed in his post on a permanent basis.  

Lee, 47, started his career as an apprentice firefighter in Cheshire in 1993 and has since undertaken roles across a range of fire and rescue functions, including prevention, protection and emergency response. He also spent 18 months seconded to the Home Office as a Fire Adviser to the Minister for Policing and Fire and the Chief Fire and Rescue Advisers' Team.

He lives in Lymm with his partner and two-year-old son.

Lee said: "I feel incredibly honoured to be appointed to the role of Deputy Chief in Cheshire where it all started as a 17-year-old apprentice. I am passionate about the work the fire and rescue service does on a daily basis to keep people safe and am extremely proud of the dedicated professionals across the Service that do this work. I am looking forward to continuing this good work and delivering the best service possible for the people of Cheshire and our employees."  

Neil, 54, has worked for Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service for four years, joining as Head of Service Delivery in 2019 after 19 years with Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service. Before becoming a firefighter, he worked in the sports and leisure industry.

He has worked across every function in the fire and rescue service, completed a Master’s degree in Business Administration in 2021 and was the Chair of the National Fire Chiefs Council On-Call Practitioners Group between 2019 and 2022.

Originally from Wrexham in North Wales, Neil, 54, lives near Newport in Shropshire and is married with two children. 

He said: “I am delighted to have been appointed as Assistant Chief Fire Officer. I have the privilege of working with some amazing people in Cheshire and I believe, together,  we have all achieved many great things, especially throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. My priorities include continuing this great work by engaging with colleagues, our staff networks, partner agencies and communities, to improve our Service in every aspect of what we deliver."

Last updated: Monday, 22 May 2023