John Purdy, AFOA's new chairman.

Promoting excellence in aviation firefighting and providing platforms to engage with the industry are the main priorities for the Airport Fire Officers’ Association during 2020, according to new Chairman John Purdy.

Purdy, who has taken over from Gatwick Airport’s Chief Fire Officer Simon Petts after four years in the role, was the Airports Commercial Training Manager at Newcastle International Airport Service.

With many years’ experience in aviation firefighting, offshore oil and gas firefighting and safety and security training, he started his career serving with the RAF Fire Service in the UK and abroad before joining Newcastle International Airport where he worked through the ranks to become station manager in 2007.

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John Purdy will lead AFOA’s latest projects which include organising industry-led events with the support of manufacturers and suppliers, working closely with the American Airport Fire Officers Association Working Group and running an annual charity golf day to support the Fire Service Charity.

Simon Petts remains on as Vice-Chairman of the AFOA Committee, having seen the Association through a period of significant change. Key achievements include introducing the JESIP team into the rescue and firefighting services arena through a series of workshops, bringing in a dedicated AFOA finance manager and developing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the American Fire Officers’ Association Working Group.