New chair for Scottish Fire and Rescue Service

Pat Watters standing down after five years.

Dr Kirsty Darwent has been appointed chair of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) board, taking over from Pat Watters.

Dr Darwent has served as deputy chair since 2015, having been on the board since 2012.

Minister for Community Safety & Legal Affairs Annabelle Ewing said:

“I am very pleased to welcome Dr Kirsty Darwent as the new Chair of the Board of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service. Having been on the board for five years and been deputy chair since 2015, she has already shown herself to be an asset to the organisation and will ensure continued stability and improvement at one of Scotland’s key public services.

“Building on the legacy of the outgoing chair, Kirsty brings extensive experience from across both the public and third sectors and I look forward to continuing the excellent working relationship between the SFRS Board and Scottish Government.

“I am very grateful to Pat for his significant contribution to ensuring our unified national fire and rescue service is well-placed to meet new and emerging challenges and continue keeping our communities safe from harm. I wish him well for the future.”

Mr Watters commented:

“Kirsty has been an outstanding Board Member and deputy chair, and a valued colleague for the last five years. She has been instrumental in the very genesis of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS), steering the organisation through a successful reform period. Kirsty has played a vital role in developing the strategic direction of the Service and has lead on establishing effective and transparent governance arrangements.

“She has also been a driving force behind the vision for a transformed Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, a vision that will see the Service do so much more for the people of Scotland. I wish Kirsty every success in her new role as she steers the Service towards an exciting new future.”


Dr Darwent will formally take her post on December 11, with Mr Watters finishing on December 10.

As Chair of the Board, Kirsty will oversee robust scrutiny, governance and performance management, lead the transformational development of SFRS, and ensure effective partnership working and stakeholder engagement.  

More information can be found here.


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