Following the retirement of Mike Hall after 10 years in the hot seat, Paul Baxter is the new National Commander of the New Zealand Fire Service.
Paul has been with the Fire Service for the past 30 years. Starting out as a volunteer with the Napier Fire Brigade, he became a career firefighter in 1986. Moving through the ranks rapidly, in 1998 he was promoted to Chief Fire Officer for Napier. In 2007, Paul was appointed Fire Region Manager for the Eastern Fire Region which stretched from Hicks Bay to Eketahuna.
After an intensive and thorough world-wide candidate search and lengthy selection process for the National Commander position, Paul was appointed by the Fire Service Commission in October of last year and officially took up the role on 1 January 2012.
Paul has a business degree and has completed the four-year Executive Fire Officer programme at the United States Fire Academy - Department of Homeland Security. He has also recently completed the Advanced Management Programme at the Melbourne School of Business.
Paul is obviously excited about the new role and the challenges that lie ahead and is committed to continuing to deliver an effective, efficient and accountable fire and rescue service to the public of New Zealand.