THE Dorset Fire Authority and Dorset Fire and Rescue Service have paid tribute to former chairman David Fox.

Mr Fox, who was awarded an OBE in 1992 for political and public services, died in the early hours of the morning on May 6.

He is survived by his wife Norma and their two sons.

In a 30 year career on Dorset Fire Authority, including eight years as chairman between 2001 and 2009, David oversaw many changes within the fire and rescue service, including the move from Dorset Fire Brigade to Dorset Fire and Rescue Service.

Chief Fire Officer Darran Gunter said: “I am extremely saddened to learn of David’s passing.

“For over 30 years David was hugely committed to the Fire and Rescue community both within Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole and also involved in wider national leadership issues.

“He was a passionate and caring man and will be missed by us all.”

The flag at the service’s headquarters in Dorchester was flown at half-mast in David’s honour.

Mr Fox was also a former Conservative Councillor for Christchurch Borough Council from 1983 to 2011. He was a Dorset County Councillor from 1975 to 2013 and acted as leader of the council during that time.

He was made OBE for political and public services in 1992 and appointed Deputy Lieutenant for the County of Dorset in 1996.

Councillor Rebecca Knox, chairman of Dorset Fire Authority said: “David was one of the first county councillors I met when I was elected in 2009.

“His passion for the fire and rescue service was evident and he immediately inspired me to accept his invitation to become part of the Dorset Fire Authority.

“His dedication had been evident as I met with many councillors and officers both in Dorset and nationally who wished him well.

“On behalf of the members of Dorset Fire Authority, our thoughts are with his family and friends.

"David's contribution will be remembered.”