Businesses thanked for volunteer support
Four businesses from the Midwest-Gascoyne region have received awards for their efforts to accommodate employees who volunteer with emergency services in their communities.
The Department of Fire and Emergency Services Volunteer Employer Recognition Awards recognise businesses that provide flexible work arrangements, allowing staff to respond to emergencies during work hours.
Kalbarri-based Gantheaume Bay Electrical received a gold award for paying two employees who volunteer with the Kalbarri Fire and Rescue Service and the Volunteer Marine Rescue Service to attend emergency incidents and training events during work hours.
Gantheaume Bay Electrical director Rick Clarke said he was thankful to receive the award.
“It’s great to be recognised and I appreciate it, but it’s not the reason I do it,” he said.
Mr Clarke said the support of employers was vital to keep volunteer services running in regional towns.
“It’s very important, especially in a small town like Kalbarri where we don’t have a lot of full-time services.
“Most of the emergency services are made up of volunteers, and if employers didn’t support them, the services wouldn’t happen.”
The Ngangganawili Aboriginal Health Service received a silver award for its efforts to accommodate and support seven employees who volunteer with the Wiluna Town Bushfire Brigade.
Wade Bloffwitch is the Captain of the Wiluna Town Bushfire Brigade, as well as the emergency capacity manager at Ngangganawili Aboriginal Health Service.
Mr Bloffwitch said as well as allowing staff to attend emergency incidents during work hours, the company also donated the use of a training room and equipment for training events.
“They are a really good employer and it stems from the fact that they’re an emergency service in the town as well,” he said.
“They operate the public action and emergency service and the local ambulance, so they understand the value of emergency services.”
Mr Bloffwitch said the company’s support was crucial for the Wiluna community.
“We’re a small town with a small brigade, we have relatively low member numbers, and some of our members are people that work in and out of town, so having an employer than employs so many of our volunteers and allows them to be released during the working day makes a big difference.”
A record 91 WA businesses received awards at this year’s ceremony: up 35 percent from last year.
Carnarvon Seachange Apartments and Leading Edge Computers Dongara also received silver awards at the award ceremony on November 3.
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