After eight years at the top spot, chief fire officer Graham Stagg has announced that he’ll be handing over the reins and leaving Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service at the end of the year.

He said: “It has been a huge privilege to lead this service and I have had the pleasure of working with some talented people during my time here. The fire service has changed significantly over the years and it is the people who work for the service, in the many roles and specialisms, many hidden from the public eye, that have enabled that change to happen and have made the service what it is today – in my opinion, up there with the best in the country. But that's not to get complacent and the next chief fire officer will face a different wave of challenges to lead staff through. I know though that he or she will be well supported by the dedicated and professional teams who work here and they are starting out from a very good place.”

Chairman of the Fire Authority Sir Peter Brown said: “Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service has celebrated a large number of achievements during the time Graham has been leading the service. There has been a significant drop in the number of fires and other incidents we attend, we are doing more with partners to help those most at risk in our community, we have saved £4.3 million as a result of the last comprehensive spending review without affecting frontline services and we remain one of the most cost effective fire and rescue services in the country. Graham has a lot to be proud of and I thank him for all he has done for our service and local communities over the last decade.”

The fire service has changed significantly over the years and it is the people who work for the service, in the many roles and specialisms, many hidden from the public eye, that have enabled that change to happen and have made the service what it is today – in my opinion, up there with the best in the country. But that's not to get complacent and the next chief fire officer will face a different wave of challenges to lead staff through. I know though that he or she will be well supported by the dedicated and professional teams who work here and they are starting out from a very good place.”

Mr Stagg leaves at the end of December and deputy chief fire officer Chris Strickland will become temporary chief fire officer until a replacement is appointed.