Roads and Maritime Services support staff to help fight fires

23 July 2018

NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers has presented Roads and Maritime Technical Officer Andrew Toole and his colleagues at Russell Vale Laboratory a Supportive Employer Award in recognition of their vital contribution to firefighting and emergency response efforts.

Andrew, who is Captain of the Dapto RFS Brigade, is provided special leave to attend incidents locally and interstate, as well as an overseas deployment to Canada.

He said he valued the support provided by Roads and Maritime to do what he loves - helping local communities and assisting throughout the state to save people’s homes and property from fires.

“I also appreciate the way my teammates step in while I’m away – which is why I nominated them for the award. My manager is very supportive and the team understands that I put a large amount of time during and outside of work, so they’re happy to help while I’m away at incidents,” Andrew said.

Deputy Commissioner Rogers said the NSW RFS Supportive Employers Program recognised employers who generously grant volunteers leave to attend emergency incidents during work hours without financial disadvantage and who promote volunteering achievements.

“I know having staff called away at short notice, sometimes having to down tools in the middle of a job or leaving the office for extended periods, puts pressure on workplace productivity,” Deputy Commissioner Rogers said.

“Just like the volunteers who jump on trucks, operate radios and feed hundreds of responding firefighters and emergency service workers, employers who support volunteers make a very direct contribution to firefighting efforts in NSW.”

Andrew has been a firefighter volunteer for over fifteen years and was directly involved in fighting fires as far away as Canada in 2017 and Tasmania in 2016. Closer to home he helped battle blazes in Canberra, Tamworth, Mudgee and most recently at Holsworthy.

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