The head of Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service has announced he will be leaving Cornwall Council later this year.

Paul Walker took on the role of Chief Fire Officer in 2015 and was the Deputy Chief Fire Officer for six years prior to that.

He is also the Director of Resilient Cornwall which oversees the fire and rescue service, community safety and localism.

Paul will leave Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service later this year to take on a one-year role as Chief Fire Officer of the Cayman Islands Fire Service, before taking retirement in 2020.

Paul said: “I am very pleased and yet a little sad to inform colleagues that I am moving on to a new challenge.

“It was always my intention to retire at the end of 2019 and securing this wonderful opportunity to share my 30 years’ fire and rescue service experience with international, domestic and airport fire and rescue service colleagues and to support their world-class fire and rescue service ambitions in the Cayman Islands, provides a challenging, rewarding and enjoyable one-year transition to my full retirement.

“My past 10 years in Cornwall as Chief Fire Officer and previously Deputy Chief Fire Officer have been an amazing and fulfilling experience, with wonderful people in a beautiful place to live.

“I would like to pay tribute to my colleagues’ professionalism, dedication and the superb, positive outcomes they deliver to people across Cornwall.”

During his time at Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service Paul has overseen a £27.5m Capital Replacement Programme for the fire service and a £10m capital investment in emergency cover for Camborne, Pool, Redruth and Hayle.

In 2017 Paul was recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List and awarded a Queen’s Fire Service Medal for his many contributions to keeping the public safe.

Rob Nolan, Cornwall’s Cabinet Member for the environment and public protection, said: “We want to thank Paul for his ten years of brilliant service to Cornwall and for leading Cornwall Fire and Rescue and keeping our residents, visitors and businesses safe.

“We wish him every success in his new job in the Cayman Islands and his retirement next year.”