Northern Ireland's most senior fire officer suspended from duty
Northern Ireland's most senior fireman has been suspended from duty.
In a statement on Monday evening, the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service said Gary Thompson had been placed on "precautionary suspension".
The service described the move as a "neutral action" but did not state the reasons why.
Mr Thompson was appointed in November 2016 after 22 years with the Fire Service, describing it as an "honour".
He was described as a "committed and dedicated firefighter" bringing a wealth of operational and strategic leadership experience to the role.
In a statement on Monday, the Fire Service said: "Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) confirms that the Chief Fire & Rescue Officer, Mr Gary Thompson, has been placed on precautionary suspension with effect from 10th December 2018. Precautionary suspension is a neutral action in line with NIFRS policies and procedures. NIFRS is not in a position to make any further comment at this time.
"The NIFRS Board, in conjunction with Department of Health, will now consider and put in place interim arrangements to ensure the continued delivery of our service to the public."