HEREFORD & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service has a new chief fire officer and chief executive.

Jonathon Pryce takes over on April 1 on the back of 29 years in the fire service, arriving with a wealth of experience.

Mr Pryce's career began in 1992 with Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service before moving to London Fire Brigade in 1997, joining Hereford & Worcester four years later and progressing through the ranks to assistant chief fire officer.

“I am delighted to be taking up the position of chief fire officer and chief executive," said Mr Pryce.

"Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service is a fantastic organisation with the most amazing workforce which I am proud to be part of, and now lead, as we continue to build on some great work to keep the communities of Herefordshire and Worcestershire as safe as possible.”

Chairman of the Fire Authority, Cllr Roger Phillips, said: “Jon has extensive experience in the fire service sector and strong leadership qualities. I’m confident that he will make a great leader and I look forward to working closely with him in the future.”

Mr Pryce takes over from Nathan Travis who retires on March 31 after 28 years in the fire service.

Last year, Cllr Phillips said he had been saddened by the decision, adding Mr Travis would be a great loss.

Cllr Richard Udall had argued the fire authority could look outside of the fire service to find a new chief officer but most members disagreed.

He said it would not stop the authority from appointing an experienced person from within the fire service but would also help them "widen the net" to recruit the best person in the fairest way.

Cllr Kit Taylor was among those to say the appointment should go to a uniformed officer.