Members have been voicing their increasing concerns on the possible encroachment of non-career firefighters into key operational management roles.

The protection of the professionalism of career firefighting is the protection of career firefighters health and safety.

For decades the NZPFU has diligently and fiercely protected the requirements to achieve and progress through the ranks from Trainee Firefighter to Senior Station Officer. These requirements ensure that career firefighters are appropriately trained, qualified and experienced for each role. On the incident ground the rank clearly indicates those ranks and each incident controller can immediately assign tasks safe in the knowledge the firefighter is trained to undertake that role. Required service is embedded through these ranks to ensure the firefighter has the appropriate experience before applying for a promotional course. The training and promotional courses are carefully developed and implemented by professional career firefighters.

This rigid system can make all the difference between life and death or injury on the incident ground. It is for those reasons that the NZPFU will not condone any erosion of the rank structure and requires professional career firefighters only being under the command and control of professional career firefighters on the incident ground.

The integration to the new “unified service” is reaching a critical stage with regional and area/district management appointments about to be made. Attached is the NZPFU submission on the “Proposal for Consultation on the Service Delivery Branch Leadership Team for Fire and Emergency Employees and Volunteers”

In addition, role and rank discussions are underway. The NZPFU SME (subject matter experts) and representatives have the focus of protecting our ranks and roles at the forefront of their minds.

In unity, 
Wattie Watson 
Secretary

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