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Corporate Management Team

The Corporate Management Team (CMT) is currently made up of seven principal officers and is responsible for setting the strategic direction of the organisation.

Chief Fire Officer and Chief Executive - Chris Blacksell 

Chris BlacksellChris Joined the Service in March 1988. He began his career as a firefighter at Hull’s Central fire station and has served as an operational officer in every area of the Service. He completed a Master’s Degree in Fire Investigation to become one of the first Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Fire Investigators, and led on a number of high profile cases, including several fire related murders. He was promoted to Deputy Chief Fire Officer in April 2014 and is also the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) UK Lead for Fire Investigation. 

His overall responsibility is Humberside Fire and Rescue Service’s contribution to keeping the area it covers a safe place to live, work and visit.

As Chief Fire Officer and Chief Executive he has ultimate accountability for all areas of the organisation, which he manages via the Corporate Management Team structure. 

In this role, Chris is keen to lead the Service to prepare itself in readiness for the many challenges it faces and ensure it is continually ‘fit for purpose’ through a greater emphasis on flexibility, innovation and collaboration. This will ensure the Service maintains and enhances its reputation for high performance and strong delivery.


Deputy Chief Fire Officer and Executive Director of Service Delivery - Phil Shillito

Phil joined the Service in July 2016 as Director of Public Safety, following a 28 year career at neighbouring South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue. 

In September 2017, he was promoted to Deputy Chief Fire Officer and Executive Director of Service Delivery, and is responsible for all service delivery across the four Local Authority areas covered by Humberside Fire and Rescue Service. This includes the Operational Response to fires and other emergencies, emergency call handling and mobilising, Community Safety activities to keep people safe in their homes and Business Safety activities in relation to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order. He also works with partner agencies across the area for example through North Lincs Health and Wellbeing Board, the Greenport Guiding Coalition in Hull, NE Lincs Strategic Leadership Board and the Health Chief Executives Group in East Riding.


Executive Director of Service Support and S151 Officer - Kevin Wilson

Kevin Wilson is the Statutory Finance Officer responsible for the administration of the financial affairs of the Authority as required under the Local Government Act 1985. As Executive Director of Service Support he has direct responsibility for the Service’s Finance function along with overall responsibility for the areas managed by the Director of Service Support.

Prior to joining the Service in March 2007, Kevin had worked for Hull City Council, Newport City Council and Gwent County Council where he had undertaken a range of senior finance roles.


Director of Service Support - Steve Topham

Steve joined the Service in 1995 and his first posting was on Red Watch at Cromwell Road fire station in Grimsby, going on to undertake a variety of roles throughout the Service covering both operational, safety and support functions. 

In September 2015, Steve was promoted to Director of Service Support and he is responsible for support services such as the contract management of the joint workshops and joint estates, and fleet and equipment management, operational training, ICT, administration and health and safety, and environment, 


Director of Emergency Response - Niall McKiniry

Niall joined the Service in 1995 and has served at various fire stations including Bridlington, East Hull, Scunthorpe and Hull Central in addition to a variety of specialist roles at Service Headquarters. 

Niall was promoted to Director of Emergency Response in April 2016 and he is responsible for the Service’s emergency response, the Service’s resilience planning, liaison with the region’s ports and ensuring the Service is able to effectively manage and respond to incidents involving hazardous materials. 


Director of Human Resources - Miriam Heppell

Miriam joined the Service as Director of Human Resources in October 2016 after 15 years in the local health sector and having also worked within HR in the private sector. Her most recent role was as Deputy Director of HR and Diversity at Humber NHS Foundation Trust. 

As Director of Human Resources at Humberside Fire and Rescue Service, Miriam is responsible for all areas of HR, organisational development and occupational health.


Director of Public Safety - Paul McCourt

Paul joined Humberside Fire and Rescue Service in 1999 and started in his first posting on Red Watch at Immingham West fire station. 

He has served across the Humberside region going on to undertake a variety of roles in the Service including training, operations, safety and support functions. 

Paul was promoted to Director of Public Safety in November 2017 and he is responsible for community safety, business safety and road safety, looking at the prevention of fires and the protection of the public. 


Director of Operational Training - Christine Wilson

Chief Superintendent Christine Wilson joined the Service as a temporary Director in March 2018 for a period of 12 months, reporting to Kevin Wilson, Executive Director of Service Support. 

She will take a role within the Corporate Management Team and will be responsible for Operational Training and overseeing Service Performance. Christine joins the Service, with 24 years experience at Humberside Police, which includes a year long secondment with the Counter Terrorism Command at London Metropolitan Police. Her most recent role at Humberside Police was serving the community as South bank Commander.   

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