Yamazaki Mazak Honoured with Fire Service Award


Yamazaki Mazak has been recognised for its ongoing work in the community as one of the inaugural recipients of the Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service’s Chief Fire Officer’s Employer Award.

The honour is given to businesses in the Worcester and Hereford areas for releasing their employees to work as on-call firefighters. Christian Leatherdale, Technical Support Engineer at the company’s Worcester-based European Manufacturing Plant, is a Watch Commander for the fire service and is responsible for a crew of 17.

Christian has worked for Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service for seven years and must live and work within five minutes of a fire station. His role as an on-call firefighter has coincided with his decade working at Mazak, having joined as an apprentice in the maintenance department before progressing to his current position. Balancing his duties has sometimes presented challenges, yet Christian expresses deep gratitude for Mazak’s unwavering support enabling him to combine his professional commitments with his on-call firefighting duties.

“If I’m on duty and my pager goes, I have to be at the fire station within five minutes,” he said. “That’s regardless of whether I’m at home or at work, so there’s been a few meetings cut short while I’ve been at the office.

“The company’s been very understanding and supportive, though – I have a space in the visitors’ car park to reduce any delay in responding which makes it easier to access when I get a call out. I’m very thankful to the business for helping me continue as an on-call firefighter and rise to Crew Commander and then Watch Commander. They’re definitely worthy recipients of this award.”

Christian was involved with the Young Fire Fighters Association now known as Fire Cadets for 13 years, progressing to instructor level before being retained as an on-call firefighter. As part of his duties, he has to attend training every Monday evening and is now highly skilled in health and safety, risk assessments, first response emergency care, alongside responding to fires and road traffic collisions.

Richard Smith, European Group Managing Director at Yamazaki Mazak UK Ltd, said: “As one of Worcester’s largest manufacturers and employers, it is important that we support the local community. Being able to help Christian keep our community safe has been a privilege, and we’ve been delighted to see him rise through the ranks within the Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service.

“We are honoured to receive the Fire Officer’s Employer Award and will continue to support Christian as he performs his vital duties as a Watch Commander.”

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