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Top West Midlands fire chief found dead at his home while being under investigation for fraud by bosses.

Updated: Jan 25


Chief Fire Officer Wayne Brown of the West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS)

Chief Fire Officer Wayne Brown of the West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS), who was alleged to have lied about the qualifications required for his position, has been found dead at his home.


The service had been investigating accusations that he did not possess the necessary degree for the role. Emergency services have stated that his death is not being treated as suspicious.


Wayne had been an experienced Multi Agency and CBRN Gold Commander, actively involved in major operational incidents across the UK, including the London terrorist attacks and the tragic Grenfell Tower fire.


In addition to serving as the Chair of the West Midlands Conurbation Local Resilience Forum, Wayne led the region's response to the Covid-19 pandemic.


He brought extensive expertise in driving Organisational Cultural change, Blue Light Collaboration, Incident Command, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Health and Safety, and Operational Assurance.


Wayne's career began as a firefighter in East London, and he spent 27 years with the London Fire Brigade, eventually rising to the position of Assistant Commissioner. During his tenure, he led various departments, including Protection, Operations (South East Area), Incident Management, and Operational Policy and Assurance.


In November 2019, Wayne joined the West Midlands Fire Service as the Deputy Chief Fire Officer, transitioning from the London Fire Brigade. Initially, he served as the Programme Executive responsible for Community Risk Reduction before assuming the role of Chief Fire Officer in January 2023.


A year ago, Wayne Brown was appointed as the chief of the West Midlands Fire Service based on his impressive Master of Business Administration degree from London South Bank University.

However, Wayne's alleged degree has now been confirmed to have no record at the university. As a result, the fire chief has since removed it from the listed qualifications on his LinkedIn account.


Colleagues have raised concerns and also stated that Wayne falsely claimed to have been a former professional footballer for Charlton Athletic.

It has since been revealed that he had only played as part of the training scheme at the club and not in the pro division.


Earlier that month, the fire service had confirmed that they were looking into the allegations that he had lied about having a master's degree in formal inquiry - if it was found that Brown had lied about his qualification, this could amount to fraud by false representation.


In a statement, West Midlands Fire Service had said: 'We are aware of claims referencing our Chief Fire Officer and West Midlands Fire Service.
'Formal enquiries and processes, in line with our Fire Authority’s constitution, were then ongoing in relation to the matters raised. We will undertake this thoroughly and fairly. In the meantime, we will not be commenting further.'

Chief Fire Officer Wayne Brown Was found dead on Wednesday, January 24, at his home address. Greg Brackenridge, the Chair of West Midlands Fire and Rescue Authority, had said in a statement that night (January 24):


We are devastated to report that our Chief Fire Officer, Wayne Brown, had been found dead at his home address this morning (24 January).
The death was not being treated as suspicious by West Midlands Police.
All our thoughts and love were with his family, his friends, and his colleagues.
We asked everyone that his family and his colleagues be given time and space at this tragic time.

If you need help, you could call Samaritans for free on 116123 or visit Samaritans.org.


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