A NEW chairman has taken the helm of Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Authority.

Councillor Knox was unanimously elected to the post with Councillor Byron Quayle unanimously elected as vice-chair during the fire authority's annual meeting.

And Councillor Bob Jones was re-elected as chairman of the finance and governance committee and Councillor Brian Mattock was unanimously elected as vice-chair of the committee.

Cllr Knox said: “I am very honoured to have been elected as chair of Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Authority. We have responsibility for a truly excellent fire and rescue service, and I know I speak for my fellow elected members when I say how proud we are of our workforce. I am sure that we will continue to deliver great results across our prevention, protection and emergency response activities over the coming year.”

Members of the strategic leadership team reported on the annual service performance review to the authority.

The performance review showed the service has delivered more than 11,500 Safe and Well visits to high risk homes in 2018-19, as well as educating more than 40,000 children through its education initiatives and partnerships.

Nearly 1,200 fire safety audits of commercial premises were carried out and more than 15,000 emergency incidents were attended in the same period, with 87 people rescued from fires and 328 rescued from road traffic collisions.

Chief Fire Officer Ben Ansell said: “The Strategic Leadership Team and I are very pleased with the performance of the Service. Whilst we continue to operate in challenging financial climate, with difficult decisions to be made, our fantastic staff are key to ensuring we keep our communities safe, whether at home, at work or on our roads.

"This annual performance summary shows the benefits of our combination in both the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery. I look forward to working with Cllr Knox and our new Fire Authority over the coming year to ensure we build on and continue this excellent work.”