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Scottish Fire and Rescue Service


Scottish Fire and Rescue Service

Fire and Rescue Service
Area Scotland
Size 78,772 km2 (30,414 sq mi)
Population 5,295,400
Formed 1 April 2013
HQ Perth
Staff 8,000
Stations 296
Co-responder Yes
Chief Fire Officer Alasdair Hay
Deputy Chief Fire Officer Alex Clark

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS; Scottish Gaelic: Seirbheis Smàlaidh agus Teasairginn na h-Alba) is the national fire and rescue service of Scotland. It was formed as the result of an amalgamation of eight regional fire services, which came into effect on 1 April 2013.[1] It therefore became the largest fire service in the United Kingdom and the fourth-largest in the world, replacing the London Fire Brigade.[2][3]


  • Consolidation 1
    • Goals 1.1
  • Impact 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


After a consultation,[4] the Scottish Government confirmed on 8 September 2011[5] that a single fire and rescue service would be created in Scotland to replace the eight existing services and the Scottish Fire Services College, then part of the Scottish Government.

After a further consultation[6] on the detailed operation of the service, the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Bill was published on 17 January 2012.[7] After scrutiny and debate by the Scottish Parliament, the legislation was approved on June 27, 2012.[8] The Bill duly received royal assent as the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012. This Act also created Police Scotland in place of the previous eight regional police forces.

The Scottish Government claimed[9] that reform would safeguard frontline fire and rescue services in their communities by creating designated local senior officers for every council area with a statutory duty to work with councils to shape local services.

The interim headquarters of the new service are in Perth.


The Scottish Government expects that establishing a single service will also ensure more equal access to national and specialist services and expertise such as flood rescue, whenever and wherever they are needed. Key provisions of the legislation include:

  • Regular, formal opportunities for the Scottish Parliament to scrutinise fire and rescue services.
  • Establishing a Chair and Members of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Board to hold the Chief Officer to account.
  • Transferring the current functions of fire and rescue authorities to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service. Staff employed by the current eight fire and rescue authorities will transfer to the new service.
  • A statutory duty for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to provide adequate local services.
  • A designated local senior fire officer for each local authority area, responsible for involving the local authority in determining priorities and objectives for fire and rescue services in the local area.
  • A local plan for fire and rescue services for each local authority area, agreed between the relevant local senior officer and the local authority, setting out priorities, objectives and arrangements for local service delivery.
  • A revised Inspectorate of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

After an open recruitment exercise, on 16 August 2012 the Scottish Government confirmed[10] the first Chief Officer of the new service would be Alasdair Hay, acting Chief Fire Officer of Tayside Fire and Rescue Service. Mr Hay said: "I am honoured to take this unique opportunity to shape and deliver the new single Scottish Fire and Rescue Service. It will allow us to sustain and improve the local services communities in all parts of Scotland depend on, to build on success and do more."

After an open appointments process, Pat Watters, former President of COSLA, was announced[11] as Chair of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service. He said: "I welcome the opportunity to take on this role and work with the Chief Officer to ensure the service continues to perform strongly and ensure communities in all parts of Scotland are safe. While the new service will safeguard frontline services, we also have an opportunity to do more – we can work together to build a fire and rescue service which delivers improvements which make a real difference to communities."

Members of the SFRS Board appointed in October 2012 are Bob Benson, James Campbell, Kirsty Darwent, Marieke Dwarshuis, Michael Foxley, Robin Iffla, Bill McQueen, Sid Patten, Neil Pirie, Grant Thoms and Martin Togneri.[12]


The following services were merged, creating the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service:

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service also incorporated the Scottish Fire Services College, located in Gullane, East Lothian.

See also


  1. ^ Scottish Government news release February 21, 2012 -
  2. ^ "Who we are". London Fire Brigade. Retrieved 22 June 2014. LFB employs approximately 7,000 staff of which 5,800 are operational firefighters and officers 
  3. ^ "Who we are". Scottish Fire and Rescue Service. Retrieved 22 June 2014. any of our 8,000 firefighters 
  4. ^ Research report on consultation 15 September 2011 -
  5. ^ Scottish Government news release 8 September 2011 -
  6. ^ Research report on consultation 16 December 2011 -
  7. ^ Scottish Government news release 17 January 2012 -
  8. ^ Scottish Government news release 27 June 2012 -
  9. ^ Scottish Government news release 27 June 2012 -
  10. ^ Scottish Government news release August 16, 2012 -
  11. ^ Scottish Government news release 31 August 2012 -
  12. ^

External links

  • Scottish Fire and Rescue Service - official website
  • Why Grampian is losing its unusual white fire engines, and other questions...BBC news report, 29 March 2013:
  • Consultation document: Keeping Scotland Safe and Strong: A Consultation on Reforming Police and Fire and Rescue Services in Scotland
  • Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Bill
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