Chief Fire Officer of County Durham and Darlington Fire & Rescue Service
Steve Helps is the Chief Fire Officer of County Durham and Darlington Fire & Rescue Service, taking up the position on 12 January 2023. Steve joined County Durham and Darlington Fire & Rescue Service on 1 June 2020 as Deputy Chief Fire Officer, responsible for service delivery. Steve is an experienced fire officer and leader, he brings a strong community focus to the Service, recognising the unique position of trust and respect in which the Fire and Rescue Service is held, he has used this and the professionalism of County Durham and Darlington Fire & Rescue Service staff to tackle the real underlying factors which affect risk, resulting in the service being recognised as highly productive and one of the safest places to live, work and visit.
Having originally joined Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service (FRS) in 1992 as an on-call firefighter, Steve then moved to Leicestershire FRS in 1994, before returning to Derbyshire FRS in 1998 where he undertook roles as station command, head of training, head of prevention and inclusion and as an inspecting officer.
Steve joined South Yorkshire FRS in 2014 as head of emergency response. He went on to lead the service’s community and business fire safety teams and spearheaded the creation of a joint community safety team with South Yorkshire Police. He also acted as Assistant Chief Fire Officer and head of service delivery.
Steve has a Master’s degree in Business from Lincoln University, along with a BSc Hons Degree from the University of Central Lancaster. Steve has completed the Executive Leadership Program through Warwick University and holds the Members qualification within the Institute of Fire Engineers.
Steve chairs the Local Resilience Forum for County Durham and Darlington, and on behalf of the National Fire Chiefs Council is the strategic lead for High Volume Pumps and Flood response, along with being the sponsor for the national procurement work stream for fleet.