Kris Milner, 36, is putting to use skills in life-saving and fire-fighting learned when responsible for security and safety at sea, for Jackson Fire & Security on terra firma in the city.
And he has started as he means to go on – reducing by one third the annual bill for fire prevention measures at Hyde Park Source charity in the city.
The urban regeneration charity became Jackson Fire & Security’s first customer after the opening of its branch office in the Potter Newton Mill at Scott Hall, Chapel Allerton.
Jackson Fire & Security already installs and maintains fire and security systems in city landmarks including 1, City Square, and Bridgewater Place.
It decided to open premises and recruit engineers locally after contracts were extended to include other locations in the county.
Kris said: “I loved travelling the world on superyachts but the time has come for me to be at home more for my family.
“With this role I can still use my safety and security knowledge. It’s also easier to work ashore, as the workplace is not in perpetual motion.”
Kris’ working life started as a casino host in Leeds, before he spent three years globe-trotting on cruise ships as a steward.
After a spell back in Leeds where he set up a direct marketing team of 15 to serve multinational telecoms and insurance clients, he returned to sea as a deckhand on 50m superyachts in the Caribbean.
Following promotion to boatswain, he qualified as a RYA Yachtmaster, becoming an officer of the watch, then chief officer, serving on charter speedboats and superyachts in the Mediterranean, around the coast of the UK and Scandinavia, as well as the Caribbean.
Kris said: “Safety and security are my passion and this role suits me down to the ground now that I’m permanently back ashore.
“I’ll still be visiting lots of different places, as we already have customers in buildings from office blocks to pubs and corner shops. I have to accept that the weather might not be as good, though.”
Now, Kris is seeking to recruit his first engineers and within two years hopes to establish an apprenticeship programme for electricians seeking to specialise in fire and security systems.
He said: “Young people find it difficult to get a first foot on the career ladder. I was given a chance at a young age that let me prove myself and do what I wanted. I want to do the same for young people in Leeds.
“This is also why I was pleased to help Hyde Park Source reduce its running costs, as it is a charity that helps young people in particular.”
Hyde Park Source manager Peter Tatham said: “Jackson Fire & Security replaced two different contractors and is providing the same service for two thirds of the price.
“This is good news for us, because every reduction in our running costs gives us more funds for our regeneration work.”
Jackson Fire & Security supplies fire extinguishers and maintains the fire alarm and emergency lighting at the charity’s premises in Rosebank Road, Leeds.
The charity works to make social and environmental improvements within deprived areas of inner city Leeds. It works with local people to reclaim and renovate disused and derelict green spaces for community use.
Founded in 1991, Jackson Fire & Security now has branches in Liverpool, Warrington, Wirral, Mold, Cambridge and Glasgow.
It provides a one-call service whereby its engineers service fire and security systems, plus emergency lighting and fire extinguishers during a single visit, to save inconvenience and site attendance fees for customers.
One of the UK’s leading independent providers of fire and security systems, it is NSI gold accredited for fire and security systems. It is also licensed to install Siemens no false alarm guarantee fire alarms.
"I was given a chance at a young age that let me prove myself and do what I wanted. I want to do the same for young people in Leeds."
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