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Retiring Chief Fire Officer Terry McDermott Hands Over To New Chief Fire Officer, Gavin Tomlinson

Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service is today saying goodbye to retiring Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive Terry McDermott.

Terry joined the fire and rescue service in 1989 following a visit to a fire station at the age of 8 years old, when he decided he wanted to become a firefighter.  He began as a trainee Firefighter at Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service in 1989 and his potential as a future leader was quickly recognised as he was awarded the prestigious Silver Axe, an award presented to the trainee who has shown a high level of commitment and teamwork, displaying an excellent attitude and work ethic. 

This excellent attitude to work has been evident throughout Terry’s career as he continued to progress through the ranks.  In 2008 Terry moved to Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service following his successful application for the role of Group Manager.  Further promotion in 2014 saw Terry transfer to Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service this time for the post of Deputy Chief Fire Officer.  Terry’s final promotion came soon after, when in 2015 he was appointed Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive for Derbyshire.

Derbyshire’s Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Gavin Tomlinson now takes over as the Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive following his successful application for the role earlier this year.

Speaking at a presentation to mark Terry’s retirement, incoming Chief Fire Officer, Gavin Tomlinson said: “It has been an absolute pleasure working alongside Terry.  He has been an inspirational Chief, leading us through many challenges and steering us to many successful collaborations with Derbyshire police, East Midlands Ambulance Service and Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service; in addition Terry has led a Service at the forefront of blue light collaboration, delivering a new joint headquarters and a joint training centre.

“I am honoured to be taking over from Terry and feel privileged to become Derbyshire’s Chief Fire Officer, leading a Service that is committed to protecting our communities and continuing to provide a first class service to the people of Derbyshire.”

Born and raised in Belper, Derbyshire, Gavin Tomlinson joined Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service in 1993 as a trainee Firefighter.  Over the last 26 years Gavin has served in many areas including operational station command, fire safety, learning and development and prevention.

In 2010 Gavin was promoted to Area Manager responsible for Community Safety and the delivery of the Tri Service Control project.  In 2015 he was promoted to Deputy Chief Fire Officer.

Speaking upon appointment of Gavin as the next Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive for Derbyshire, Chair of the Fire & Rescue Service, Councillor Kevin Buttery said: “Gavin brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role of Chief Fire Officer and the fire and rescue authority are confident that he will continue the good work and legacy left by our outgoing Chief, Terry McDermott, ensuring we continue to Make Derbyshire Safer Together.” 


Mr McDermott’s actual retirement takes place on the 5 September, with new Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive Gavin Tomlinson taking over on the 6 September.

Terry and Gavin