A MAN who was in command during the Westminster Bridge terror attack and the aftermath of Grenfell Tower tragedy is Hampshire’s new deputy chief fire officer.

Steve Apter, currently the London Fire Brigade Deputy Commissioner, has almost 30 years experience as a firefighter.

The 52-year-old is also the national lead for the fire service on counter terrorism.

He was previously Chief Fire Officer of the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service and Assistant Chief Fire Officer of Hampshire.

He has also been chairman and a key supporter of United Kingdom Rescue Organisation (UKRO) which helps boost standards of technical rescue with national challenges and work overseas.

Steve’s brother, John Apter, was last year elected as chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales.

The announcement Steve’s appointment was made by Cllr Paul Carter at the meeting Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority meeting in Winchester.

Steve said: “I am delighted to have been offered this role with a Service that is known for setting high standards across the industry.

“I am looking forward to working with the chief fire officer, the authority and all the officers and crews in our common aim of keeping the people of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight safe.”

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority Chairman Councillor Chris Carter said: “We are delighted to welcome Steve Apter as new deputy chief fire officer.

“His appointment comes after a rigorous selection process that included top performers from a variety of disciplines.

“We look forward to working closely with him as we move forward and encounter exciting opportunities as a service.”

Born in Liverpool, Steve joined the IOWFRS as an on-call firefighter in 1990 after gaining a degree in business and working in the private sector, in business development for a number of years.

He became a full time firefighter in 1991.

In 2011 Steve was appointed chief fire officer of IOWFRS and in 2014 it was named most improved service in the UK.

The father-of-three now lives on the Isle of Wight with his wife and children.

Steve will take up the role later this year ahead of current deputy chief fire officer Andy Bowers’ retirement in June.