Employers helping to protect our community
The Department of Fire and Emergency Services Volunteer Employer Recognition Awards acknowledge the important contribution employers and self-employed volunteers provide to the community.
Employers of emergency services volunteers including self-employed volunteers play a critical role in protecting the community during natural disasters and emergencies.
At their own cost, businesses release qualified staff to help protect and repair desperate communities impacted by fires, severe storms, cyclones, floods, earthquake, tsunamis and emergencies involving chemical, radiological and biological materials.
Emergency services volunteers are assisted by their employers in many other ways, including:
- Support for and willingness to release volunteers to attend special training held during working hours
- Promotion of emergency services volunteering
- Demonstrated commitment to community-friendly values
- Provision of material support in extenuating circumstances, such as loaning of equipment or donation of goods or services
Recognising the contribution of employers
The management of the Volunteer Employer Recognition Program is certified against an International Standard ISO 9001. It is the first formally certified program in Australia acknowledging employers of fire and emergency service volunteers.
Nominations are assessed in accordance with the quality management system to determine the level of assistance employers provide to their employees to undertake their volunteer duties.
The quality policy statement provides further information on DFES commitment to the delivery of the Volunteer Employer Recognition Program.
Currently there are 209 WA employers who are active participants in this awards program.
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There are three levels of recognition for varying levels of employer contribution:
In categorising the recipients many factors are taken into account including:
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- The impact on the day to day running of a business with a volunteer absent
- How long the business has been involved with supporting emergency services volunteering
- Whether the skills gained by the staff, through volunteering, are of benefit to the business or employer
- If the business lends or donates equipment to local emergency services
- If the business provides financial support, or sponsorship, to local emergency services
- Whether the business promotes emergency services campaigns and, or safety messages at any time throughout the year
- If a written or verbal policy covering emergency services leave arrangements has been developed and made available for employees to use.
How do employers benefit?
Employers who receive an award benefit in a number of ways:
- They create positive working relationships within the local community.
- Increased awareness of community issues.
- Increased ability to attract and retain skilled.
- Increased staff motivation and team morale.
- Positive corporate image.
Successful employers and self-employed volunteers can use the official Volunteer Employer Recognition Awards logo.
The quality endorsed logo is valid for three years and is authorised for use in:
- Marketing and promotional materials such as publications, websites and presentations.
- Corporate stationary including letterhead and email signature.
- Annual reporting.
The logo identifies the employer or self-employed volunteer as a supporter of the Department of Fire and Emergency Services volunteers.
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Which employers are eligible?
Businesses that employ volunteers in the following emergency services supported by DFES are eligible:
- Volunteer Bush Fire Service
- State Emergency Service
- Volunteer Fire and Emergency Services
- Volunteer Fire and Rescue Services
- Volunteer Marine Rescue Services
Self-employed volunteers who are members of one or more of the above services are also eligible. Self-employed volunteers can self-nominate or be nominated by a fellow volunteer or DFES personnel.
Employers who have not received an award, of equal or greater standing, from DFES in the last two years are eligible.
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How does the program work?
Nominations open annually and are assessed according to a quality assured system that recognises an employer's contribution against their capacity to provide support to emergency services volunteers.
The Volunteer Employer Recognition Awards accreditation lasts for three years from the time of issue.
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