The Department of Fire & Emergency Services honoured Margaret River business White Sands Bathroom Renovations with the Gold Award in the recent WA Volunteer Employer Recognition Awards.
The awards recognise businesses that go above and beyond to provide flexible work arrangements, enabling their staff to respond to emergencies during work hours.
This year there has been a 35 per cent increase in the number of organisations acknowledged with nearly half of the recipients recognised in the gold category and 18 self-employed volunteers honoured.
Business owner, Leif Thomas, a 10 year veteran of the Augusta Margaret River SES, was thrilled to be recognised by his peers as one of only nine Gold Award recipients in the self-employed category.
Mr Thomas said, "It really is an honour. As with all my SES colleagues, we do this volunteering to help our communities during times of need.
“I would like to know that there are good people out there that would help me or my family in time of need and this is just one of the reasons I contribute my time."
“It is great that the Department acknowledges those of us that are self-employed.
“When we stop work to attend an emergency situation, our income stops and this can have quite an impact on your family and life but when you see the good that is done by assisting those in need, you know it is all worth it."
Emergency Services Minister Fran Logan said it was vital that businesses recognised the importance of volunteer efforts and gave a greater understanding to the pressures employee volunteers are under.
"I congratulate the 91 Western Australian businesses recognised for their invaluable support to emergency service volunteers,” he said.
"I am particularly grateful to the 18 self-employed volunteers who were recognised for their sacrifice of their day-to-day business needs to keep the community safe.
"There are more than 27,000 emergency service volunteers across the State and many of them couldn't volunteer without the support of their employers.
"Employers who provide their employees with time off to attend emergencies, rest after an incident or to attend training are greatly appreciated.
"Without their support, our State's volunteer emergency services would struggle to operate."