Steve Demetriou, Assistant Chief Fire Officer and Director at Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) has announced he plans to retire this month after 30 years with the service. He has held regional, national and international roles, representing both KFRS and the UK Fire Service.
Steve joined KFRS in 1985 as a firefighter at Margate and has held operational roles at various other stations across the county including Thanet, Dartford, Canterbury, Folkestone and Dover. He helped to develop new recruits at KFRS’s Training Centre in Maidstone and during his time as Divisional Commander East at Canterbury, was in charge of a 20 pump high-rise fire in Ramsgate in 2001. He also headed up the Community Safety team before taking on the role of Director Operations in 2008.
Looking back over his long and illustrious career, Steve said: "It has been a privilege to serve the people of Kent and I have worked with some incredibly committed and talented people along the way. I couldn’t have wished for a more rewarding career and I will miss being part of such a tremendous fire and rescue service.
"It’s been an incredibly eventful career and I’ve been involved in some significant major incidents including the great storms of 1987, the floods of 2002 and 2014, as well as several major ship fires. I led the firefighting team that was winched on-board the Ever Decent container ship after it collided with a cruise liner in 1999 and also led the KFRS response to the Channel Tunnel fire in 2008.
"Sadly, I’ve also attended some horrific tragedies like Britain’s worst ferry disaster, the capsize of the Herald of Free Enterprise in 1987 when 200 people were tragically killed. But despite terribly sad incidents like that, I have thoroughly enjoyed my 30 years as a firefighter and operational Officer."
KFRS Chief Executive, Ann Millington said: "I’ve worked with Steve for nearly 8 years and have learned a great deal from him. He has always been innovative and works tirelessly putting the service and the safety of the people of Kent and Medway first. It will be difficult to replace his knowledge, experience and the dedication he brought to the job and we are very sad to see him go but we wish him a happy retirement."
Steve has made a vital contribution to the development of KFRS. He headed up multi-agency resilience work on a county, regional, national and European level and has led on many safety projects including Kent’s multi-agency plans for wide scale flooding, the Channel Tunnel, terrorist incidents and the London 2012 Olympics. He has also lent his expertise to other organisations including:
The UK’s Lead Officer for marine response on behalf of the Chief Fire Officer’s Association from 2009-2014
- The UK’s Lead Officer for the Maritime EU project between 2012 and 2014, bringing six European Fire and Rescue Services together to develop standardised procedures, a training programme and a major exercise off the coast of Holland
A member of the UK Delegation of Inter-Governmental Channel Tunnel Safety Authority. He was instrumental in the renegotiation of the contract between KFRS and Eurotunnel which provides a firefighting team at the UK end of the tunnel for initial response to emergencies underground,
Lead Officer for operational issues on behalf of the nine South East Region Fire and Rescue Services between 2012 and 2015
- Chairman of the Kent Resilience Forum Executive Group since 2008
Steve has three children and lives with his wife Michelle in Maidstone. During his time with the service he achieved a Higher National Diploma in Fire Command and Management, a BSc (Hons) Degree in Fire Service Studies and a Masters Degree (MBA). He received his Long Service and Good Conduct Medal in 2005, the Queens Golden and Diamond Jubilee medals and was awarded Fellowship of the Institute of Fire Engineers in recognition of his contribution to the Fire and Rescue Service in 2014.