Members will by now have read the correspondence from Mike Hall and FRM Butt regarding the Area restructure.

The Auckland Local has had further detail of this from FRM Butt, which has left us rather perplexed and with more questions than answers.

We have written to FRM Butt with the following questions and comments about the restructure.

  1. Has the rank of Chief Fire Officer for career staff been disestablished?
  2. If so, why has it not for Volunteer staff?
  3. How is it possible for an Area Commander and Assistant Commander to outrank a Volunteer Chief Fire Officer in his own gazetted Fire District?
  4. Which of the Assistant Commanders is the Deputy Chief Fire Officer as the Fire Services Act only allows 1 DCFO in each Gazetted Fire District?
  5. Why was the previous Divisional Officer rank marking chosen for the Assistant Commanders, as 3 impellors does not signify higher rank than a large impellor and laurel wreath with 2 small impellors?
  6. What is the progression chart for career staff now and how does it fit in with the Volunteer staff chart?
  7. What is the status of non operational staff who are at present wearing the Chief and Deputy Chief rank markings, such as the Regional Training Manager, the Chief Fire Safety Officer and the Operational Planning Officer?
  8. Are they to continue to wear these rank markings. If not, what will their rank markings be, and how will they fit into the seniority scale?
  9. Will Volunteer Chief and Deputy Chief Fire Officers carry their rank outside their own Fire District?
  10. If so, what will be the authority of Senior Station Officers and Station Officers, as it appears that the Area concept allows the use of rank anywhere in that Area?

The Auckland Local believes that the Area concept, as it is designed, is a farce and that the indecent haste to bring it in has caused, and will continue to cause, our members problems in the execution of their duties.

The rank structure is stupid, the rank markings are equally illogical, and confusion reigns. This area concept has brought back the Assistant Commander rank from before the review, and given those unfortunates the Divisional Officer rank markings.

The Auckland Local believes that this restructure had the possibility of addressing the operational problems the organisation has had since the review, by establishing a shift commander position. Unfortunately, this would have needed the admission of a mistake by those in power, and none of them have the guts to publically admit, what they privately state often, that the removal of the Divisional Officer rank was the greatest mistake of the review, and most of the operational and training shortcomings this service suffers from could have been mitigated by this step.

The Auckland Local will continue to press for a resolution of the problems this restructure implementation will cause and members will be kept fully informed of any developments.

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