A NEW deputy chief fire officer has been appointed for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

It was announced on Thursday that Steve Apter would be the new new deputy chief fire officer of Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service (IOWFRS).

Currently the London Fire Brigade Deputy Commissioner, the 52-year-old has almost 30 years of experience as a firefighter.

The announcement was made by Councillor Paul Carter at a Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority meeting in Winchester.

Steve said: “I am delighted to have been offered this role with a Service that is known for setting high standards across the industry.

“I am looking forward to working with the chief fire officer, the authority and all the officers and crews in our common aim of keeping the people of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight safe.”

Steve has been in command at incidents including the Westminster Bridge terror attack and the aftermath of Grenfell Tower and is the national lead for the fire service on counter terrorism.

He was previously chief fire officer of the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service and assistant chief fire officer of Hampshire.

He has also been chairman and a supporter of United Kingdom Rescue Organisation (UKRO) which helps boost standards of technical rescue with national challenges and work overseas.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority chairman Councillor Chris Carter said: “We are delighted to welcome Steve Apter as new deputy chief fire officer.

“His appointment comes after a rigorous selection process that included top performers from a variety of disciplines.

“We look forward to working closely with him as we move forward and encounter exciting opportunities as a service."

Born in Liverpool, Steve joined the IOWFRS as an on-call firefighter in 1990 after getting a degree in business and gaining private sector experience in business development for a number of years before becoming a full time firefighter in 1991.

In 2011 Steve was appointed chief fire officer of IOWFRS and in 2014 it was named most improved service in the UK.

The father-of-three now lives on the Isle of Wight with his wife and children.

Steve will take up the role later this year ahead of current deputy chief fire officer Andy Bowers' retirement in June.