Award-winning support


Shane Sheely, of Sinagra, nominated his employer for a DFES award for supporting Wanneroo Central Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade.
Shane Sheely, of Sinagra, nominated his employer for a DFES award for supporting Wanneroo Central Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade.

Britax Childcare won the gold category at the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) Volunteer Employer Recognition Awards in December for supporting Wanneroo Central Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade for the past five years.

The company was nominated by employee and brigade member Shane Sheely, of Sinagra.

“The major reason I nominated Britax was due to the fact they pretty much allow me to do anything to assist any WA community,” he said. “My pager went off for the fires in Armadale (on January 8) and I basically picked up and left.

“I don’t ever feel like I can’t go to a fire; if something urgent came up, I could turn around and fight that fire and don’t have to worry whether senior management might turn around and say, ‘You’re not doing your role’.”

The Melbourne-based business also allows Mr Sheely to complete emergency services related training during work hours if required.

He said the support offered by his employer was impressive, particularly when Mr Sheely spent four days fighting bushfires in Wanneroo and Bullsbrook last year and his manager was unable to contact him.

“He rang my wife and daughter to see if there was anything he could do,” he said.

“It’s the little things like that that mean a lot to my wife and my family.”

Metropolitan south coastal DFES superintendent Greg Feeney said employer support was vital.

“Our emergency services rely on volunteers in order to respond to fires and other incidents quickly and effectively across the region,” he said.

“In turn, our volunteers rely on their employers to allow them the flexibility to go at a moment’s notice, have adequate rest time afterwards and attend training when needed.”