Assistant Commissioner Darren Klemm was announced today as the new Fire and Emergency Services (FES) Commissioner. He has been appointed for an initial term of 18 months.
With more than 27 years in fire and emergency services, Mr Klemm brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience.
Following three years with the South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service, Mr Klemm joined the WA Fire Brigades Board in 1993 and served with various Perth Metropolitan fire stations. This was followed by time in Country Operations in the Goldfields-Midlands, based in Northam, which gave him the opportunity to gain considerable experience in regional firefighting operations, as well as the chance to work closely with volunteers.
He was promoted to Assistant Commissioner in 2012 and is currently in charge of Metropolitan Operations.
Outgoing FES Commissioner Wayne Gregson said Mr Klemm had successfully delivered and implemented a number of high level strategic reforms during his last six years as an Assistant Commissioner.
“This has included delivering key aspects the DFES response to the Report of the Perth Hills Bushfire (Keelty Report), which facilitated significant changes across DFES and the emergency management sector in WA,” Commissioner Gregson said.
“He has been responsible for significant structural and cultural reform in the training and professional development of DFES personnel and emergency services volunteers, including management of the WAFES Academy and the introduction of a competency based training framework.
“Added to this, he has also been involved in strategic operations at State and Incident Controller level during significant emergencies such as the Waroona, O’Sullivan and Toodyay bushfires, and Tropical Cyclone Olwyn.
“He is an excellent choice to take over the reins as Commissioner, having both the operational and strategic capacity to lead the Department successfully.”
Mr Klemm said he was looking forward to stepping into the role.
“A lot has been accomplished in the last six years and there is a solid foundation to build upon as we address future challenges and seek to further strengthen relationships with our emergency services partners,” he said.
“Some key areas on which I will be focusing include further driving cultural change towards better recognition of volunteers’ experience and local knowledge, addressing the need to respond to the demands of rural bushfires more effectively, and supporting improved professional development for volunteers.”
An official Transfer of Command Ceremony is taking place on Friday 15 September.