A NEW boss of Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service has been appointed following 'quite extreme' levels of 'interrogation'.

The cross-party Cheshire Fire Authority unanimously agreed to appoint Mark Cashin to the post of chief fire officer and chief executive of the service during Tuesday's meeting in Winsford.

It will see the 49-year-old move up from his role of deputy chief fire officer after Paul Hancock confirmed he would be retiring from the service.

The two-day assessment process included a technical interview, media assessments, a presentation and a formal interview.

Fire authority chairman Cllr Bob Rudd hailed Mr Cashin's credentials.

He said: "We did have two very good candidates without a doubt – and one was excellent.

"Mark Cashin was an excellent candidate."

Cllr Gillian Merry labelled the assessment stage as 'thorough'.

She said: "The interrogation of the candidates, I think, was quite extreme.

"But it was very clear after the interviews, I think, that one candidate was outstanding."

Mr Cashin praised his 'mentor' Mr Hancock for the help that he has provided in his career to date.

He said: "I think I have the best job for the best organisation in the world.

"I couldn't have a better mentor, teacher and friend – he will be a really tough act to follow.

"I want to invest time, quite soon, and see each one of you individually.

"I am going to see every watch too.

"I will probably need a bit of patience and support as well."

Cllr Rudd confirmed the deputy role, which Mr Cashin is leaving, is due to be discussed at a meeting next month.

Although the brigade managers' pay and performance committee is responsible for the recruitment of the chief fire officer and chief executive, the decision about the appointment is reserved to the fire authority.

The authority's role includes setting the annual budget, agreeing the staff, vehicle and other resources needed to deliver an 'efficient service' and approving the service's plans, policies and strategies.