Phil Toase CBE started his fire service career at Dewsbury in 1974 and returned to that station as its commander in 1986. Four years later, he was promoted to the rank of Senior Divisional Officer (Divisional Commander) and, in 1995, he became the West Yorkshire Assistant Chief Fire Officer responsible for fire safety, which led to his promotion, in 1999, as Deputy Chief Fire Officer and a year later to his appointment as Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive of West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service. In this position, Phil had overall responsibility for a budget of £100 million pounds and over 2,000 personnel.
During his career, as well as holding a BSc in Fire Safety Technology and Management, Phil was also conferred a Fellow of the Institution of Fire Engineers and is Visiting Fellow to the Fire Service College and a member of the City and Guilds Institute. From the Institute, he received their highest award for a project in Fire Service Management, entitled Communications During Change – An Analysis of the New Zealand Experience. In 1996, he received the WL Gore Technology Scholarship for outstanding achievement on the International Brigade Command Course.
Phil’s commitment to driving forward the community fire safety agenda was accepted as best practice and formed the cornerstone of the national modernisation programme. He has also been a tireless worker on behalf of the wider fire and rescue service, as well as for his own West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service. During his career, Phil has chaired the Chief Fire Officers’ Association (CFOA) National Fire Safety Committee and been Director of Brigade Command Course – coaching and mentoring aspiring chief fire officers – and was President of the Chief Fire Officers’ Association 2006/07.
At a national strategic level, Phil has been Strategic Adviser to the Local Government Association, an adviser to the National Joint Council Employers, a member of the National Strategic Advisory Team on Resilience and New Dimension Issues and gave evidence to the Select Committee on the Review of the Fire and Rescue Service in 2006.
Phil recently stepped down as Chair of the Board and Executive Council for British Approvals for Fire Equipment (BAFE) and is currently Chairman and Director of 3tc Software Ltd, which is a leading provider of fully-integrated, mission critical software applications to the UK public sector and global emergency services markets. He is also a member of the Executive Board of the Fire Sector Federation.
Phil was awarded his CBE for services to the Fire and Rescue Service in 2004 and received a Queen’s Fire Service Medal in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List for 2009 and made a Deputy Lieutenant in the same year.
Phil lives in Huddersfield with his wife Lorraine and has two sons, James and Greig, a daughter, Anna, and four grandchildren. He enjoys rugby, playing golf and walking, and is a keen Manchester United supporter and season ticket holder of 25 years.
Year Appointed: 2008