Simon Routh-Jones Fire, Rescue & Governance

Simon Routh-Jones Simon Routh-Jones CBE QFSM

Simon Routh-Jones served as a Fire Officer for over 37 years and retired from the post of Chief Fire Officer and Chief Executive at Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service in April 2016. He joined HM Fire Service Inspectorate for Scotland in September 2016 as an Assistant Inspector.

Whilst at Wiltshire, in December 2013, Simon was instrumental in the successfully development and delivery of a business case with Dorset FRS, for a merger between the two services for the new Organisation Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service to commence in April 2016.

During his time in Service he developed and implemented a highly successful Juvenile Firesetters Programme to intervene and educate youths with their obsession and actions in fire and fire setting, working in Partnership with Youth Offending teams, Police, Education and Social Services. Initially introduced into the South West and developed further to form part of the national approach to youth education in fire prevention.

One important and valuable piece of work Simon did as Chief Fire Officer in Wiltshire, he was instrumental in the set up and introduction of Salamander. Salamander is a tailored development programme designed to promote empowerment in a positive environment whilst also encouraging team work and the supporting of others. The scheme was to encourage participants from across a very diverse community to participate and develop confidence and self-esteem within an inclusive environment. Simon worked with a number of partner organisations to ensure the targeting of those individuals who would benefit most. The groups included local Schools, Youth Offending Teams, Family Services, Young Carers, Downs Syndrome Groups and Adult Community Learning. Simon spoke to the participants in a way that they would understand and show that despite their background or faults, that they could be the person they wanted to be, and for some of the ones who had strayed from the path, there was a way back and they could change to be a better person.

During a significant period of change within the UK Fire and Rescue Service, he development a RESPECT agenda (responsibility, equality, supportive, professionalism, excellence, communication, transformation), which was at the forefront of a cultural change which drove to reform and modernise the Fire & Rescue Service within Wiltshire.

On retirement from Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service, in September 2016, he was successful in being appointed as an Assistant Inspector within HM Inspectorate for the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service, where he developed a new operational assurance inspection regime across the whole of Scotland.

In June 2018, Simon Routh-Jones was appointed HM Chief Inspector for the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service and leads the Inspectorate in a period of great change and challenge.

Leading Her Majesty's Fire Service Inspectorate in Scotland (HMFSI), Simon was responsible for providing independent, risk-based and proportionate professional inspections of Scottish Fire & Rescue Service.

As Chief Inspector, Simon, under the wide ranging powers of The Royal Warrant, ensured that the General Public of Scotland and Scottish Ministers are confident that their Fire & Rescue Service runs efficiently and effectively, and to promote improvement in the Fire and Rescue Service and to meet obligations in terms of best value and continuous improvement.

Simon provided leadership to support and challenge Senior Partners to ensure Scottish Fire & Rescue Service continues to perform to an excellent standard.

Simon provided independent professional advice and assurance on fire and rescue matters to the Elected Fire Minister for Scotland, the Chief Fire Officer, the Scottish Ministers, Scottish Government and other Stakeholders.

As Chief Inspector, Simon had functions in relation to non-domestic Fire Safety and the responsibility to undertake Fire Safety determination on disputes between the Private Sector and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service. Simon worked extensively with the Health & Safety Executive, Audit Scotland and the various Expert Panels set up following National Requirement.

Simon reported into Scottish Government Select Committee's as an expert witness for fire related issues.

Within Northern Ireland, Simon was the Chief Fire Advisor for the Northern Ireland Administration, within the Department of Health (DoH), who oversee Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service. Simon role was to give to the DoH advice on policy, strategic guidance and direction. In addition, providing support and mentoring to the NIFRS Board and Chief Fire Officer and the Senior Management Team.


  • Awarded a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in Queens Birthday Honours 2020
  • Awarded the Queens Fire Service Medal (QFSM) in New Year's Honours 2015
  • Awarded British Fire Service Association (BFSA) Medal in December 2014

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