Hertfordshire Chief Fire Officer recognised in Queen's Birthday Honours

Darryl Keen joined Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service in 2011

Friday, 11th June 2021, 11:05 pm

Hertfordshire County Council’s Director of Community Protection and Chief Fire Officer has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Following a 30-year career with the Fire Service, Darryl Keen will be honoured with a Queen’s Fire Service Medal for Distinguished Service in a ceremony later this year.

Darryl said: “I am extremely proud to be afforded this honour, I have very much enjoyed my career in the Fire Service and have been lucky enough to support many people at their time of greatest need.

Darryl Keen has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours
Darryl Keen has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours

"One of the early lessons though was how much the Fire Service is a team organisation and so this is not just for all that I have done but is also a reflection of my colleagues in HFRS who I am extremely proud of.”

Darryl Keen first joined the fire service in 1991 in Royal Berkshire, working his way up from Firefighter to Station Commander, before moving to Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Throughout that time Darryl has been especially involved in fire service communications and control rooms as well as responding to a wide range of incidents including the Windsor Castle Fire in 1992 and Buncefield in 2005.

Darryl joined Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service in 2011 and became Chief Fire Officer and Director of Community Protection in 2017.

Under his leadership, Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service has embarked on a number of key projects, from the opening of the Joint Emergency Services training academy and increased collaboration with police colleagues to a greater focus on diversity and inclusion in the fire service and increased mental health support for staff.

More recently, Darryl took on an important role during the pandemic as chair of the cross-organisational Hertfordshire Strategic Coordinating Group which was set up to tackle the spread of COVID-19 locally.

Under Darryl’s leadership, organisations across Hertfordshire worked together to support and protect residents and businesses, identifying local outbreaks, setting up vaccination centres, and encouraging testing and self-isolation compliance.

Darryl has also taken on national projects through his work as the National Fire Chiefs Council’s Strategic Lead for Operational Communications, most notably through projects to future-proof control rooms across the country, working closely with British Telecom to improve resilience, and ensure control operators are using the most effective technology.

In 2019, Darryl became a Deputy Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, a role he has been honoured to take on.

Owen Mapley, Chief Executive of Hertfordshire County Council, said: "Darryl has made an enormous contribution to the council, Herts Fire and Rescue Service and to wider public service across Hertfordshire, and I am delighted his dedication has been recognised by Her Majesty The Queen with the award of the Fire Service Medal.

“We are very grateful for all he has done during his time at Hertfordshire County Council, and we pay tribute to the local, regional and national leadership he has shown in a career dedicated to improving public safety.”