AFTER launching a recruitment drive to find more retained firefighters, the Isle of Wight Council has admitted most of its staff cannot apply.
News of the bar was delivered at last night’s full council meeting by Cllr Chris Welsford.
Isle of Wight Council member with responsibility for the fire service, Cllr Edward Giles, told the meeting the Island very much relied on part-time retained firefighters and promised he would review the policy.
After the meeting Cllr Giles said: "The council's first priority in this respect is that our staff are available to carry out the functions for which they are employed and that services to the public are maintained.
"In respect of retained fire-fighters, there is no blanket ban on staff becoming firefighters and a number of our staff serve in this capacity.
"However, the on-call duty requirement means that each retained firefighter is required to respond every time they are alerted.
"Taking staff away from their council duties regularly in this way can cause heavy disruption to services and leave a significant burden on remaining staff.
"As such, our staff are, in the main, not available to attend calls in working hours."
He said staff could be special constables in certain circumstances and would be allowed to be voluntary coastguards — where it did not affect delivering services — because the roles were different and did not impact to such an extent on council business.