Assistant Chief Fire Officer--Louise Mackenzie.(PEOPLE PROFILE)

Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service has appointed HR manager Louise McKenzie to Assistant Chief Fire Officer. Louise is only the second woman nonfirefighter in recent weeks to be appointed to such a senior post in the UK.

She takes up the new role just before Finance Director Eileen Baird, the newly appointed Deputy Chief at Strathclyde. Louise passed a series of interviews "with flying colours" beating off opposition from 13 applicants. She was one of only two non-operational staff to apply for the post.

Chief Fire Officer Alan Taylor said: "Louise stood out in the interviews. She has an excellent record with the fire service and she really will be a great asset to us. …

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