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Strategic Leadership Team

The Strategic Leadership Team (SLT) is currently made up of eight principal officers and is responsible for setting the strategic direction of the organisation.

Chief Fire Officer and Chief Executive - Chris BlacksellPhoto of Chief Fire Officer

Chris joined the Service as a Firefighter and was located at Central Fire Station in Hull in 1988, before progressing his career to become Chief Fire Officer and Chief Executive in 2017.

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

Photo of Deputy Chief Fire OfficerDeputy 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. 

Within his role as Deputy Chief Fire Officer and Executive Director of Service Delivery, Phil is responsible for Service Delivery, which includes Emergency Response and Public Safety. He is also responsible for Service Delivery Support and People and Development Directorates. 


Assistant Chief Fire Officer  - Niall McKiniryPhoto of Director of Service Improvement

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. 

He was promoted to the role of Director in April 2016 and in March 2019 he became Director of Service Improvement and was responsible for Programme Management, Operational Assurance, Performance (including HMICFRS), Health, Safety and Environment, Corporate Communications and Governance.

On 23 July 2021 Niall was appointed to the role of Assistant Chief Fire Officer, supporting the Chief Fire Officer in providing strategic leadership, influencing the vision and direction of the Service.

Executive Director of Corporate Services and Section 151 Officer - Kevin WilsonPhoto of Executive Director of Corporate Services

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 Corporate Services and Section 151 Officer, he has direct responsibility for the Service’s Finance function along with overall responsibility for the areas managed by the Director of Service Improvement.

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 Delivery Support - Steve Topham

Photo of Director of Service Delivery Support

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. 

He was promoted to the role of Director in September 2015 and in March 2019, Steve became Director of Service Delivery Support and he is responsible for Public Safety Central Support, Emergency Preparedness, ICT, Fleet and Equipment, Estates, ESFM, Water, Stores, and our Service Support Centre.

Director of Service Delivery - Paul McCourt

Photo of Director of Service Delivery

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 the role of Director in November 2017 and in March 2019 he became Director of Service Delivery, and he is responsible for Emergency Response from our 31 fire stations, Public Safety across all four Local Authorities and Fire Service Control Room. 

Temporary Director of People and Development - Jason Kirby

Photo of Temporary Director of People and Development - Jason Kirby

Jason joined the Service in 1995 as an On-Call Firefighter, his first posting was at Barton fire station. In April 2000 he became a Full-Time Firefighter and has since served in a variety of roles across most areas and sections within the Service. His most recent role was as Area Manager - Grenfell Inquiry Project.

In January 2021 Jason was appointed Temporary Director of People and Development and is responsible for all areas of Human Resources, Organisational Development, Occupational Health and all Training. He will also maintain oversight of the Grenfell project work.

Temporary Director of Service Improvement - Simon Rhodes

Simon joined the Service in 1982 working in the Control Room, becoming the Control Room Manager in 2004. Photo of temporary director Simon Rhodes

He has since served in numerous corporate roles for the Service before being promoted  to the role of temporary Director in September 2021.

Simon is responsible for Corporate Assurance and Governance including preparation for HMICFRS inspections, Occupational Health and Wellbeing and Health, Safety and Environment.