The Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve Patriot Award was presented to the Austin Fire Department on May 11, 2010 in recognition of the department’s outstanding support to Firefighter Stephen Cote (E29/A) during his service on active duty as a Chief Petty Officer (CPO) with the U.S. Navy Reserve. Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr accepted the award on behalf of the department and its employees. The AFD staff was most cooperative with CPO Cote in assisting him in preparing for deployment, reviewing the city’s benefit plans and options available to employees during periods of active military duty, and his supervisors rearranged work schedules enabling him to have time off to attend to personal matters prior to deployment. Additionally, CPO Cote’s supervisors and co-workers have been maintaining contact with him through e-mails, sharing information on events at home and at his overseas duty station.
In accepting the award, Chief Kerr reiterated the Austin Fire Department’s commitment to taking care of its employees serving our nation abroad and looking forward to their safe return.
The ESGR Patriot Award is one of the Department of Defense awards presented to employers in recognition of their sacrifices and support to employees serving in the National Guard and Reserves.