Chris Gannon

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Chris Gannon
CFO Chris Gannon.jpg
Former international footballer and Chief Fire Officer Chris Gannon
Born Christopher James Gannon
(1969-05-13) 13 May 1969 (age 48)
Westminster, London, England
Nationality British
Occupation Pioneer
Association football career
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
Molins FC (England)
Pearl Assurance FC. (England)
KPMG United (Turks and Caicos)
Torino FC (Bolivia)
Amantes FC (Bolivia)
National team
2004–2008 Turks and Caicos 4 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Christopher James Gannon (born 13 May 1969 in Westminster, London, England) is a British pioneer of global fire service reform and a former international footballer.[1]

Early life[edit]

He attended Sir Frederic Osborn Secondary School in Welwyn Garden City. Former England international goalkeeper David James and professional golfer Nick Faldo also attended the same school. Gannon was the founder and first Chief Fire Officer of the Turks and Caicos Islands in the British West Indies and is an adviser on emergency service reform and disaster management to many governments. He later established his own company to improve Fire Departments in developing countries.[2]

Professional life[edit]

Gannon is a globally renowned fire, rescue and disaster management expert. He has gained a reputation for reforming and improving under-performing emergency organisations around the world. Having begun his career with the Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service in Great Britain, Gannon was later recruited by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) of the British Government to conduct a contingent liability assessment of emergency services in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI), a UK protectorate in the West Indies. As a result of the findings, and at just 34 years of age, he was commissioned as the first national Chief Fire Officer with a mandate to design, build and manage fire and rescue services from concept to completion. [3]

He was later given the added responsibility of managing fire services at the 6 national and international airports in the TCI to ICAO standards. He was the British Government Fire Service adviser for the UK Overseas Territories between 2002–2009 and formed part of the FCO Disaster Management Review Team. He also gained accreditation from the United Nations (OCHA) as a disaster management specialist. After achieving all the set Government objectives in the TCI within 6 years, he was recruited by a private company to do the same for the private, luxury island of Ambergris Cay.

The celebrated U.S publication 'Fire Chief Magazine' published an article on his work in 2008, entitled 'Fires Mercenary' which led to government sponsored reviews in the Cayman Islands, Montserrat, Barbados, the Falkland Islands, Chile, Bolivia and Peru, he was decorated for his work in Bolivia by President Evo Morales.[4]

He established his own company 'Gannon Emergency Solutions' [5] and now conducts commercial consultancy for Governments, NGO's, private companies and institutions worldwide. A regular guest speaker at international industry conferences, he is regarded as one of the worlds most innovative contributors to fire and rescue service modernisation.[6]

When asked to describe his methodology, Gannon states; "Unlike most experts or consultants in the industry, I haven't retired from one state or national organisation and don't simply regurgitate what was learned during that career. When people hire me to solve their problems, they get someone who is more dynamic, better informed and brings an unmatched global basket of experience to the table. I take the very best practices that I have encountered worldwide and apply them, where appropriate, to each circumstance".

Fire Chief Chris Gannon
Chris Gannon Meets President Morales

Football career[edit]

Gannon was a promising player at schoolboy level, he played in the same Sir Frederic Osborn school team as former England international goalkeeper, David James. He represented both Huntingdonshire and Cambridgeshire at County schools level. Despite being scouted and approached by a number of London-based professional teams, his UK playing career took place in the semi professional divisions of the Isthmian, Jewson and United Counties Leagues.

He also latterly played in the Peterborough Premier League representing several clubs and winning the Premier League titles with both Molins FC and Pearl Assurance FC.

He also played in Turks and Caicos Islands national league for, and had a career in Bolivia playing for Torino FC and Amantes FC (both from Cochabamba).

International football career[edit]

He represented the Turks and Caicos Islands as a central defender in their FIFA World Cup qualifying campaigns in 2004 and 2008.[7] An article published by Bloomberg said that the players had to raise finance for their own travel fees for away games. Gannon later stated that the Turks and Caicos Islands FA were 'strongly encouraged' by FIFA and CONCACAF to field an almost entirely expatriate team in World Cup qualifying games to justify receipt of funds from the FIFA 'Goal' programme. He felt that the money would have been better spent on creating playing artificial surfaces throughout the islands to stimulate development of the game and home grown talent.[8]