The fire and rescue service has appointed an employers’ liaison officer to provide advice and support to businesses with staff who are, or want to become, an on-call firefighter.

Being an on-call firefighter — also known as a retained firefighter — is a part-time position, with the majority also holding a full-time job.

However, releasing staff to provide this valuable service can be difficult for some businesses.

Divisional officer Carl Kinvig has been appointed as the employers’ liaison officer.

Part of his role will be to provide advice to employers about on-call staff, the average call-out time depending on location and helping them make an informed decision on how it might work for them.

Many businesses benefit from having staff who are on-call firefighters as they are able to offer valuable skills in addition to making workplaces safer.

Mr Kinvig said: ‘On-call firefighters provide emergency cover to more than 90% of the island.

‘All stations outside Douglas are crewed by on-call firefighters, making them an essential part of the island’s emergency response and for communities. The fire and rescue service would simply not work without them.

‘We hope this new role will help businesses make an informed decision and feel confident about supporting the community.

;We’ll also be able to provide ongoing support if any unforeseen problems do come up, and look at any ways we can support on-call firefighters in employment.’

On-call firefighters are recruited from all areas of society — from manual workers to office staff or those working from home within their communities.

They are ordinary people who provide an extraordinary service for their community and the wider island.

Recruitment for on-call firefighters is under way, with ‘come and try it’ sessions being held at Douglas fire station on Monday, January 30, and Thursday, February 9.

Pop-in sessions will also be held next week between 7pm and 8pm at Ramsey fire station on Wednesday, February 1, and Castletown fire station on Thursday, February 2.

As part of this recruitment drive, fire service is encouraging employers to go along to see the work that is done and discuss how having a staff member join the service might affect and benefit them.

For more information about the recruitment process, contact the employers’ liaison officer by calling 647300 or emailing [email protected]