The acting chief fire officer of Tayside is to become the first chief fire officer for Scotland’s merged fire and rescue services, it has been announced.
Alasdair Hay is expected to take up the £165,000 post in the autumn ahead of a target launch of April next year.
The appointment comes fewer than five months from Hay becoming acting chief fire officer of Tayside Fire and Rescue following former head Stephen Hunter’s decision to retire after more than three decades of service,
Earlier this month, Royal Assent was given to the creation of new single police and fire forces north of the Border with the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Bill becoming the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012.
The legislation paves the way for eight existing police and fire brigade forces to be merged into two single units – containing a workforce of more than 9,000 firefighters and support staff – as part of plans designed to save £1.7bn over the next 15 years.
Minister Cunningham said: “Mr Hay has the experience and attributes to be an outstanding first Chief Officer for the new single service. He has passion for the service and genuine commitment for the successful delivery of the new single structure.
“I am confident he will work closely and constructively with the Board and all other partners to ensure the continued delivery of excellent fire and rescue services in communities right in all parts of Scotland.”
Hay, who has also worked with Essex County Fire and Rescue, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Advisory Unit and the Scottish Fire Services College 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.
“Throughout my career, I have demonstrated a genuine commitment to partnership working. I will continue to work closely with the workforce, unions, government, local authorities and other key partners to maintain the high standards of the Scottish fire and rescue services.
“Above all, the single Scottish Fire and Rescue Service will strengthen the connections with all communities and the people we serve. This new service will be efficient and effective, and focused on the needs of the people who depend on the vital services our dedicated workforce delivers.”