Monday, June 24, 2024

Leo’s rewarding role: Serving his community in retirement

When former NZ Police Road Policing Manager and Hamilton City Councillor Leo Tooman, decided to retire, it wasn’t long before he found the perfect part time job.

After a career spanning 48 years with the former Ministry of Transport and then NZ Police, during which time he received recognition for his many road safety and traffic enforcement initiatives, Leo likes to keep busy. So, he joined Cross Country Rentals in April 2022 as a Specialised School Transport Assistance (SESTA) driver, delivering the

Ministry of Education transport service that assists children and young people with special needs to travel safely to school.

This was the perfect job that enabled him to remain involved and provide a great service to those in the community who need it.

“Through my role at the MOT, I was familiar with Cross Country Rentals which started off as a rental vehicle company and had a contract through our vehicle testing centre at the time. They had a good reputation for being a good operator and that continued when they were bought by Tranzit,” says Leo.

“Then, when I was the Stakeholder Manager for Fulton Hogan on the Wairere Drive / Cobham Drive interchange I’d see the CCR team driving through the site taking the kids to school and I thought that would be a good little part time number a couple of hours in the morning and the same in the afternoon and a nice van to drive as I still enjoy driving. What’s more you are doing something really worthwhile for these kids getting them safely to and from school.”

After joining the team and going through its training programme, Leo began driving SESTA runs in Hamilton city, Tamahere and Matangi.

“It was a lot of satisfaction. I got to know the kids and their families – we developed trust and a neat rapport.”

Now, Leo has been promoted to a Driver Trainer and oversees new drivers coming onboard. This includes how to operate the vehicle and wheel chair hoist; filling out log books and run sheets, and demystifying the operational side of the role.

“This is a great rewarding role for retirees as the timing is great, especially if you enjoy fishing, or golf during the middle of the day. It also would suit parents, whose kids have just left home.”

CCR is currently recruiting for part time SESTA drivers at various locations throughout the country.

These would suit someone who is retired or an ex-professional like Leo. Newcomers to the industry are also welcomed as training and induction can be provided.

“We’re looking for people with great customer service skills, a passion for serving the community and those who enjoy working within a friendly and fun team, but is confident working on their own as well,” says CCR Project Manager Tony Dickason. “We offer a terrific training programme and a fun, supportive culture.”

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