Fire Service mourns the death of long standing Chief

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service announced that Chief Fire Officer Paul Fuller passed away peacefully on 7 June after a short illness.

The fire and rescue service shared its collective grief yesterday as the death of Paul Fuller QFSM was confirmed. He was weeks away from retiring after a long and distinguished career. 

Paul had been Chief Fire Officer of Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service since 2002. He joined the fire and rescue service in 1978, working in the West Midlands, West Sussex, Staffordshire and Wiltshire. Awarded the Queens Fire Service Medal in 2008, Paul was also made CBE in 2015.

The Chair of Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Authority led tributes to Paul and said:

“I was devastated to learn that Paul had passed away this morning. His leadership and sound advice during the past 19 years as Chief Fire Officer was exemplary, and I know I speak for the whole Fire & Rescue Authority that his loss will be felt by all of us. It is particularly sad as Paul was due to retire at the end of June. I know Paul also invested a lot of his time fundraising for a range of charities including the Firefighters Charity, the Children’s Burns Trust and even achieved the incredible feat of climbing Kilimanjaro in 2019. Our thoughts are with his family at this very sad time”.

Bedfordshire’s Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Andy Hopkinson added: 

“We are still coming to terms with the loss of our beloved Chief, an incredibly well respected man whose outstanding leadership of Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service during almost two decades made such a positive difference to our staff, our partners and our communities. There are undoubtedly people walking the streets of Bedfordshire today thanks to Paul’s dedication and devotion to the Fire and Rescue Service.

“He was an outstanding man with a big character, admired by so many people and whose reputation and influence amongst the fire service community means his loss will be felt not just within Bedfordshire and the UK but around the world. Paul was a personal friend of mine and a great mentor to me during my time here in Bedfordshire and I will personally miss him dearly. This will be an incredibly difficult time for Paul’s family, friends and colleagues, past and present, and our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with them all”.

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service advised that further details of funeral arrangements will be made available at the appropriate time.