A fire chief says he is “absolutely stunned and extremely honoured” after being nominated as one of the county’s new deputy lieutenants.

Hertfordshire’s Chief Fire Officer Darryl Keen, who has worked for the fire and rescue service for 28 years and in Hertfordshire for the past eight, was one of six new appointments for Hertfordshire announced earlier this month.

In his new role, which he’ll carry out around his full-time job at the fire service, Darryl will act as a deputy to the Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, Robert Voss. It is the Lord Lieutenant himself who nominates his deputies. He can appoint up to 57 deputies; currently 49 are appointed.

Lord Lieutenants act as the Queen’s personal representative in their county or area and their prime duty is to uphold the dignity of the Crown by arranging visits by members of the Royal family and escorting Royal visitors.

They also present medals and awards on behalf of the Queen and participate in civic, voluntary and social duties, as well as liaising with armed forces units and their associated cadet forces.

Robert Voss CBE, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, said: “I am delighted to have nominated Darryl Keen as one of my six new deputies. I am certain that Darryl will prove an excellent addition to the hard working team of Hertfordshire deputy lieutenants."

Although he has yet to attend his first official engagement, Darryl, who will carry out the role until he is 75, is already working with the Lord Lieutenant and other Deputy Lieutenants on a number of local panels, helping to forge links between different organisations and groups.