Published 6 March 2023

New NFCC chair of trustees announced

NFCC Logo image

Broadcaster and safety campaigner Nick Ross CBE has been announced as the new independent chair of trustees for the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC).

With a long-standing background in public health and community safety, as well as a celebrated career in journalism, including as presenter of the BBC’s Crimewatch programme, Nick will take up the role of independent chair for NFCC from April. The NFCC is the professional voice of UK fire and rescue services, dedicated to driving improvement across fire and rescue services and keeping communities safe.

Nick’s role on public health and safety issues began by persuading ministers to adopt road safety targets in the 1980s which helped cut road deaths by more than two-thirds. He served on several government crime prevention boards, conceived the new discipline of Crime Science and founded the Jill Dando Institute at UCL, and has taken on a range of roles, with public health, wellbeing, and safety at the heart of all his work.

Nick has worked with several chief fire officers in recent years, campaigning long before Grenfell to make sprinklers compulsory in social housing and on updating building regulations.

As a psychologist, Nick’s campaigning and journalism has always been driven by scientific integrity and evidence.

Since retiring from full-time broadcast journalism career, Nick has devoted much of his time to non-profit and voluntary organisations. He currently serves as chair and trustee for several organisations and has a long-serving role with the UK’s largest NHS hospital trust

Nick Ross said: ‘It is a real privilege to be the new NFCC independent chair of trustees and to help lead and support our élite fire and rescue services. I’ve been involved in fire safety campaigns for years and seen close up how they embody some of the best and bravest across the UK. I am also aware there’s a job to do. The sector has been humbled by Grenfell, Manchester Arena and by some of the recent disturbing culture issues. Yet firefighters and UK Fire and Rescue Services do an outstanding job and rank near the top on any international comparisons. These are going to be an exciting next few years for the NFCC and I am enthusiastic about joining’.

NFCC Chair Mark Hardingham commented: “I am incredibly pleased to welcome Nick to the role. His outstanding experience and commitment to public health and safety will bring a wealth of experience to NFCC. Nick is a renowned journalist and campaigner and his passion for fire and rescue came across very strongly. His knowledge of community and fire safety and the challenges we face was particularly impressive. I am confident Nick will bring valuable strategic experience and insights to the role, helping NFCC to further transform and provide support and leadership across UK fire and rescue services.”

Mr Hardingham also paid tribute to the outgoing independent chair of NFCC trustees Teresa Budworth who has been in the role since 2017 and has played a pivotal role in transforming the organisation.