HOME Affairs Minister Juan Watterson MHK has on Friday, January 11 announced the appointment of Kevin Groom as the Isle of Man’s next Chief Fire Officer.
Mr Groom, who is currently Deputy Chief Fire Officer, will officially take up the position on 16 February 2013. He will succeed Brian Draper who is retiring after a distinguished 30-year career with the Isle of Man Fire and Rescue Service, including the last nine years in the top post.
Mr Groom will head a team of 53 wholetime firefighters, 110 retained firefighters and four support staff based at Douglas, Laxey, Ramsey, Kirk Michael, Peel, Port Erin and Castletown stations.
He will also shape the future strategy for the Isle of Man Fire and Rescue Service at a time of significant budgetary pressure as Government seeks to rebalance public finances.
Mr Groom said: ‘I am extremely honoured and privileged to be able to serve my community and to lead such a professional and highly motivated workforce. My focus will be on developing public safety and doing my best for the people of Isle of Man.
‘I’d also like to express my gratitude to Brian Draper who has been a trusted colleague for many years and a highly regarded Chief Fire Officer. He will be a hard act to follow.’
Mr Groom started his career as a firefighter with the Isle of Man Fire and Rescue Service on 2 August 1982 and has served at every rank during his 30-year career, gaining extensive operational and fire safety experience.
He has undertaken continuous professional development at the national Fire Service College and latterly through the Isle of Man Government’s Learning and Organisational Development Division.
As Deputy Chief Fire Officer for the past five years, Mr Groom has taken a key strategic leadership role in ensuring the ongoing development of the organisation.
Minister Watterson said: ‘The Department of Home Affairs is delighted to appoint Kevin Groom as the Island’s next Chief Fire Officer. The Department is committed to enhancing community safety and the excellent quality of life we all enjoy in the Isle of Man, and Kevin will have a fundamental part to play in that as our next Chief Fire Officer.’
David Quirk MHK, Department Member with responsibility for the Fire and Rescue Service, added: ‘I am particularly pleased that we have been able to promote an Isle of Man officer who has risen through the ranks from new recruit to the top job during his 30 years with the Service. The next few years will be particularly challenging and Kevin’s wealth of experience means he is well placed to respond to the task of delivering a quality service against a backdrop of budgetary restraint.’