On Thursday 14th August Derek Best and I had the privilege of attending the reception held in for the Recipients of the Bravery Awards.
It was an honour to be there to share this time with the Firefighters and their Families.
The Union congratulates all those who received the medals. They exemplify the role of all Firefighters in New Zealand, who continue to strive to achieve results, under extreme and adverse conditions.
We also extend our thanks to the New Zealand Fire Service for providing the reception in honour of this group.
Thank you for the invitation. This was a function we were delighted to attend.
Matters being discussed with Fire Service
As well as the usual ongoing matters, the following particular issues are of interest and significance.
- Payment problems subsequent to the 1 July increase:
These particularly related to the grand-fathered group and even more particularly, Q.F.F. For the most part, these have been resolved satisfactorily.
- Problems with P.P.E. – B.A, Helmets, Wet Weather Gear:
There is no quick fix. Clearly the roll-outs were inadequate and faulty. The lesson (once again) is that any roll-out of anything must be much better done.
- Relieving – and associated issues:
The introduction of the new relievers is still some way away and it is likely that there will be a trial/pilot exercise before any wider introduction occurs.
A particular issue raised is the interim over-staffing that occurs and how that is dealt with.
The Union’s position on a 5th person on an appliance with regard to P.P.E. is very clear – all members riding on an appliance must be fully provided with P.P.E.
- Medical Responses and particularly Training:
The Fire Service has accepted that there has been a very significant workload in a number of localities (e.g. Auckland) and the Union is pressing for answers.
- Exposures Project (Cancer):
Work is progressing and the awareness video has been distributed.
- Vision 2020 Meetings:
The information from these meetings is presently being assembled.
- Job Sizing:
Examples are being monitored.
- Health & Safety:
This includes Accident Investigations and the forthcoming changes to the Health & Safety legislation.
SMS - Home Address
As part of the project to improve/update information to enable contact in the case of an emergency, SMS is now being used to implement/update home addresses.
As with the emergency contact/next of kin information, the implementation/update will be the responsibility of the individual on a voluntary basis – however, the Union does encourage members to provide accurate information asap.
National Risk Resource Model
Joint message from NRFA, NZFS, NZPFU and UFBA attached.