While many companies talk about employee recognition and supporting outside pursuits, not every business can it say receives direct praise for doing so.
Suffolk-based drink manufacturer, Konings, has now been recognised by a cabinet member for the manner in which it supports one particular employee to complete a very special community activity.
James Ross, who has worked at the company for 16 years and currently supervises a team of seven, is also a retained firefighter from the Nayland Fire Station.
He has a number of roles in this crucial ‘spare time’ position, including as appliance driver.
“The reason I became a retained fire firefighter and wanted to be one, is the challenge it brings and all the skills that are required to do the job,” he said.
“Improving myself and helping the public at the same time is great for me.”
As well as dealing with very local incidents, James has been called out to major fires at Sudbury and Bury St. Edmunds.
“My manager has been very positive towards my role. My shift colleagues and Konings will work around any call outs and are very flexible considering the call can come at any time and they don’t know when I’ll return,” he added.
“I track and plan my training where possible on my days off but if they clash we work together so I can attend, which is great.”
Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for environment and public protection has applauded Konings for giving James the flexibility to fulfill the role.
In a from Mark Hardingham, the chief fire officer and Cllr. Matthew Hicks, cabinet member for environment and public protection, said: “without you being prepared to support and release your staff in this way, we wouldn’t be able to provide the fire and rescue service in the way we currently do.”