Rural Fire Service’s new boss

Patrick Westwood is transferring to Albury to head the Rural Fire Service’s Southern Border team.

Patrick Westwood is transferring to Albury to head the Rural Fire Service’s Southern Border team.

THE NSW Rural Fire Service has appointed Patrick Westwood as the permanent replacement for George Alexander in charge of the Southern Border zone team based in Albury.

Mr Westwood is currently an inspector based at Dubbo with the service’s Orana operation.

He will take up his new position in late July after his original start date this month was delayed.

The Orana team covers the local government areas of Narromine, Dubbo and Wellington in central NSW.

Mr Westwood has worked in fire management since the early 2000s and worked in the RFS head office before joining the Orana team as a community safety officer.

He will be responsible for one million hectares of land in Albury and the shires of Corowa, Greater Hume and Berrigan.

Mr Alexander announced his retirement last August and finished on October 26.

Sean McArdle has been the acting chief since then and will remain in it until Mr Westwood starts.

Mr McArdle joined the NSW Rural Fire Service in 1990 and on Australia Day was presented with the Australian Fire Service Medal.

The Southern Border area has 56 RFS brigades and 2500 volunteers.

Mr Alexander oversaw the transfer of the RFS headquarters from Kiewa Street to a regional emergency management centre at the airport in 2008.

Mr Westwood declined to comment on his appointment.

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