Port Macquarie businesses have been honoured by NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) for their role in assisting volunteer firefighter employees.
The Westport Club and Bakers Delight Port Central were among twelve recipients given NSW RFS Supportive Employer Awards for 2019 on July 4.
Bakers Delight franchisee Aaron Hall was recognised for work as a deputy captain with Sancrox/Thrumster Rural Fire Brigade.
"If we get called for a fire I try to make myself available as much as I can and I'll roster someone on to replace me," said Mr Hall.
"When I first moved up to Port Macquarie I joined the brigade out of the blue and liked it, I liked helping the community.
"I've been to 373 incidents across the five years of volunteering now. Each can range from a couple of hours to 12 or 16 hours.
"I'm a bit lucky because I've got the ability to help out and if it costs me money I'm glad to bear the cost.
"If I had employees who were volunteering I wouldn't mind, I'd try to accommodate it."
Westport Club was recognised through the volunteering of their IT manager and Lake Cathie Rural Fire Brigade deputy captain Aaron Mendham.
"I'm thankful of the support Westport gives me to let me operate as a firefighter," said Mr Mendham.
"It can be a challenge to balance our time between both roles and you can't judge when a call will come.
"It's nice to have that support and backing up from everyone at the Club."
Other winners included Batterline Earth Moving, Country Wide Mechanical, DHL Supply Chain, Embella Jewellery, Locate and Map, McDonalds Macarthur Square, Nielsen TAM Australia, Northern Co-operative Meat Company Ltd, Varley Vehicles and Wollongong Emergency Family Housing.
NSW RFS senior assistant commissioner Bruce McDonald said he'd like to thank all employers who provide leave to volunteers.
"I know having staff called away at short notice, having to down tools in the middle of a job or leaving the office for extended periods puts pressure on workplace productivity," said Mr McDonald.
"While the time and effort that volunteers put in is clearly visible, this couldn't happen without supportive employers behind the scenes.
"With the start of the official bush fire season upon us soon, it is reassuring to know we will once again be able to rely on the support of bosses and businesses right across NSW."
Since 2013, 269 businesses have been presented with a certificate of appreciation and 84 have received a Supportive Employers Award nominated by the community.
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