Highland fire chief retires after year on sick leave

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THE head of Highlands and Islands Fire and Rescue Service is retiring after spending nearly a year on sick leave.

The northern brigade confirmed Trevor Johnson would step down on health grounds after two years in charge. Mr Johnson, who is paid £115,550 a year, went off on sick leave in February 2012, less than four weeks before a scathing Accounts Commission report criticised the service and the fire board for poor management. It is understood that his illness is stress-related.

His retirement, after nearly 20 years with the brigade, was confirmed just days after the Chief Inspector of Fire and Rescue Authorities, Steven Torrie, said that the service still faced challenges despite its “impressive” improvements.