Bosses do their bit for SES
WHEN Goonellabah SES volunteer Troy McDonald is called out to help in an emergency, it's his boss he calls on for personal help.
"Without the support of employers allowing their employees to leave work in an emergency we wouldn't have the service we have," Mr McDonald said.
The 28-year-old technician from David's Auto Repair in Goonellabah has been volunteering for the SES since he was 21, and has been called to assist with most major disasters locally, including the Lennox Head and Dunoon tornadoes.
"A mate and I decided to volunteer after we finished our apprenticeships," Mr McDonald said.
"My grandfather was an SES volunteer and I wanted to do something and give back to the community."
Mr McDonald encouraged other young people to volunteer for the service.
"Give it a shot," he said.
"Especially if you have a trade background - having a mechanical aptitude really helps out."
Mr McDonald's boss, David Webster, said freeing up staff to do volunteer work was one way for a small business owner to do their part.
"When you are a small business owner with a young family it's hard to commit to becoming a volunteer yourself. But, by supporting an employee it feels like I'm doing my part," Mr Webster said.
Today is Wear Orange Wednesday, as part of National SES Week, with community leaders and school students encouraged to wear something orange in support of SES volunteers.
Buildings and landmarks across Australia, including the Sydney Opera House, will be illuminated in orange to mark the day.