The New South Wales Rural Fire Service is being stretched to its limits to cope with the unprecedented scale of the bushfires sweeping across the region as Australia experiences some of the hottest seasonal temperatures on record. That’s why team TVH has stepped up to support employees who are eager to do their bit to mitigate further damage and devastation in the area.
In times of crisis, we believe it’s critical for communities to pull together. That’s why Managing Director Joshua Leys made it company policy that when an employee invests their time in the Rural Fire Service, the business will match them hour for hour to avoid staff members using up their annual leave entitlements.
Scott Matthews, Team Leader at TVH and volunteer firefighter for the past 20 years, is a Senior Deputy Captain in rural Wollongong. He is following in the footsteps of his grandad and great-uncle who were members of the New South Wales Rural Fire Service before him. Aside from the perks of visiting beautiful areas of Australia that many may never explore, including national parks, water catchments and the vast Aussie bush, 90% of Scott’s work is serious business: putting out bushfires and protecting people’s properties.
Scott loves having the opportunity to serve as a firefighter and meet likeminded people who can be relied upon in an emergency situation, but the harsh realities of the job shouldn’t be underestimated:
“There were two of us in a truck and we rocked up to a house on fire. There was a car in the driveway and the screen door was open. Entering that property without knowing whether anyone was in there, or not, was scary. That kind of unknown is scary,” he says.
This season’s uncharacteristically ferocious bushfires hold a particularly painful place in Scott’s heart. Just recently his sister’s property was under threat and the whole family had to be evacuated. Fortunately, the winds changed before fire took hold, but her husband had to spend days outside defending his home.
Scott describes this year’s bushfires as the worst he’s ever seen. That’s why MD Joshua Leys is especially committed to making TVH staff available to help with the cause.
“TVH has given me as much time off as I need – no questions asked. Depending on weather, wind changes and resources, we often need to leave instantly, and they have been understanding of this response time. It’s a nice gesture, particularly when this is the company’s busiest time of year. In fact, TVH is the first company I’ve worked for with this amount of freedom,” Scott says.
Everyone here at TVH would like to take the opportunity to say a huge “thank you” to all the brave volunteers and generous organisations that are making this lifesaving work a priority. We are grateful and proud to be part of the movement to save our beautiful country and its inhabitants (particularly the furry ones!).
TVH would like to take this opportunity to extend our condolences to the families of Geoffrey Keaton and Andrew O’Dwyer who paid the ultimate sacrifice last week fighting these recent fires in Sydney’s South West.
If you have any questions regarding the involvement of TVH’s employees in the NSW bushfires, feel free to reach out to Managing Director Joshua Leys on 0420 279 293 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Putting a strategic back burn in to protect rural properties in the Southern Highlands of NSW – Scott Matthews (Team Leader at TVH andSenior Deputy Captain of theNew South Wales Rural Fire Service)
'Green Wattle Fire’ started by lightning strikes in the Southern Highlands of NSW
The fire station in Dapto. Fleet includes two Category 1 Tankers, a Callsign Dapto 1 Alpha, a Dapto 1 Bravo, a Category 7 Dapto Tanker and a Personal Carrier Dapto PC.