Employers’ support for volunteers recognised

Matthew WoodleyGeraldton Guardian
Diana Gudel, Michael Morrow and Brendan McCann with the gold achiever award.
Camera IconDiana Gudel, Michael Morrow and Brendan McCann with the gold achiever award. Credit: Matthew Woodley

Three Mid West employers have been recognised by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services for the role they have played in supporting their volunteers over the past 12 months.

The Geraldton branch of nationwide rail freight company Aurizon received a gold award, while Champion Bay Electrical and the Shire of Irwin were recognised in the silver category.

Aurizon operational maintainers Diana Gudel (SES) and Brendan McCann (volunteer fire and rescue) nominated their employer for the award and said the company had been supportive and flexible whenever they were called out. “In the first year I thought it was really important for me to be able get as much training as possible under my belt,” Ms Gudel said.

“Aurizon was really supportive in allowing me the time to attend training.”

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Senior operations manager Michael Morrow said the majority of their workforce lived in rural areas and that they thought it was important to give back to those communities.

“It’s really about us being able to do what we can to support those people where they live,” he said.

Champion Bay Electrical operations manager and volunteer sea rescue vice-commander Jamie Jones said he had noticed a definite trend at the business towards supporting volunteers over the past two years.

Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Wayne Gregson said without volunteers they would not have been able to deal with the more than 9500 fires, 5500 search and rescues and 168 hazmat incidents they had tended to this year.

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