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Sir Ken commenced his fire service career as a firefighter in 1966 and subsequently served in a number of UK fire brigades. At a Chief Fire Officer level he served as the Chief Fire Officer of Dorset and West Midlands Fire Services before becoming to London’s Fire Commissioner in 2003 until 2007 (which included the London bombings) when he was appointed as the Government's Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser.
From 2007 until January 2013, Sir Ken was the Government’s Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser for England, advising Ministers and senior officials on fire policy matters and, providing advice during major and catastrophic emergencies together with operational advice on preparedness and response during the 2012 Olympics.
He produced an independent report for the UK Government on fire and rescue services response to the widespread flooding in 2007 entitled Facing the Challenge. He was also tasked to undertake a review in the immediate aftermath of the fire in high rise social housing in London in 2009 in which 6 people tragically died.
In May 2013 Sir Ken Knight published an efficiencies review of the 46 Fire and Rescue Authorities entitled Facing the Future which was commissioned by the Government.
Since leaving his position as the Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser to the UK Government in 2013. Sir Ken Knight has been providing independent consultancy advice to public and private sector organisations.
In December 2014 the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government nominated Sir Ken as the Lead Commissioner for the London Borough of a Tower Hamlets under the Local Government Act 1999.
Sir Ken was confirmed as a Visiting Professor at Edge Hill University Business School, Lancashire in 2014.
Sir Ken has also completed a review of the fire and rescue services in; Southern Ireland, Bermuda and Gibraltar and undertook a review of the national fire safety and civil defence arrangements in the Kurdish region of Iraq at the request of the Kurdish Regional Government.
Sir Ken is a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute and a Fellow of the Institution of Fire Engineers. He is also a founder Trustee of the UK Firefighters Memorial Trust and a Trustee of the Building Research Establishment. He is a Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Firefighters.
Her Majesty the Queen awarded Sir Ken the Queens’ Fire Service Medal in 1991 and the CBE in 2001. He was appointed as Her Majesty’s Representative Deputy Lieutenant for Richmond upon Thames in 2007. Sir Ken was Knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2006 in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the fire and rescue service.
- Efficiencies Review; Facing the Future
- Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser
- Fire Service in the United Kingdom
- London Fire Brigade
- Chief Fire Officers Association
- Chief Fire Officer
- Department for Communities and Local Government: Fire and Resilience×Link Dead
- Gov.uk Our People: Sir Ken Knight CBE, QFSM