Below is provided the notice put out by the Chief Executive. You will note that the Union was consulted over this and supports its intentions.
However, this issue has been discussed at three successive Conferences. Supporting members generally is essentially why the Union exists and psychological wellbeing is equally as important as physical wellbeing.
In fact both must be treated no differently.
The Union is aware that the role of members has changed significantly over the last few years – particularly with medical response.
Our experience tells us that there are better ways to help members than those currently available. We also understand that there is a real need for there to be easy, informed, confidential and effective options available to provide assistance.
As well as the contact persons as advised in the Chief Executive notice, the Union offers support persons:
Jim Ryburn 021 654 184
Greg Lee 027 471 9757
Both Jim and Greg are long serving Firefighters and are members of the National Committee.
Jim is now employed as the National Welfare Officer.
The role of a supporter is to listen and where appropriate refer to more specialist help.
All contact will be confidential and as noted necessary professional support can be made available.
This service is simply intended to be another option for members if you have any concerns about using Fire Service Systems.
The Union is viewing this as a trial and a report will be available for consideration by Conference 2018.
My latest video is now up here: https://vimeo.com/246171699, following the national NZPFU Conference in Akaroa. It covers the two main themes we talked about, which were what it means to be an inclusive organisation, and psychological wellbeing.
Christmas and the New Year are fast approaching. As you know, this can be a challenging time of year for our people, their families and communities.
Many of you are meeting with your teams for the last time before Christmas this week.
Paul McGill, Kevin O’Connor and I would like you to remind your people what wellbeing support is available for them, and their families, if they need it.
Please share these messages in discussion with your teams if possible, or by email:
- Christmas, New Year and Summer can be a pressured time of year
- Look after yourself and others – talking with someone you trust helps
- If you or someone you know needs support, it’s okay to reach out for assistance
How to get support?
All Fire and Emergency personnel, including volunteers and non-operational people, can refer themselves directly to:
1) Fire and Emergency people who can be contacted over December and January (from the Safety, Health and Wellbeing and Peer Support Teams):
Alison Barnes 027 452 7428 John Grainger 027 496 8150 Kathy McAlpine 027 704 8958 Paul Clements 027 482 2642 Des Hosie 027 437 5170 Jim Ryburn 021 654 184 Denis Fitzmaurice 027 228 7682 John Kingsbury 027 552 3077 Roy Warren 027 497 1313
You or your manager can contact regional Peer Support people, Regional Safety, Health and Wellbeing Advisors and our Region 4 Welfare Liaison Officer, via our Communication Centres:
- Northern Communication Centre - 09 486 7948
- Central Communication Centre - 04 801 0812
- Southern Communication Centre - 03 341 0266
Confidential counselling sessions for all personnel – call our employee assistance programmes (see below for numbers), for advice and support, for work, family or personal concerns.
- Your immediate family can also get advice and support through this service
- Please tell them you are from Fire and Emergency so we can cover the cost – it’s still completely confidential – we are only advised of the number of people seeking help
Numbers for the employee assistance programmes in your region:
- Region 1, 2, 3 - Vitae Services on 0508 664 981, www.vitae.co.nz
- Region 4, 5 - EAP Services on 0800 327 669, www.eapservices.co.nz, or Workplace Support on 0800 443 445, or 0800 333 200, www.workplacesupport.co.nz
- NHQ - EAP Services on 0800 327 669, www.eapservices.co.nz
4) For psychological emergencies
If there is an urgent need, please contact your GP on call, Ambulance Service, or local hospital emergency department who can refer you to the Crisis Assessment and Treatment Teams (CATT) services in your area as needed
5) For more information on available services including contact details for peer support people in your region, go to the Portal page Critical Incident and Personal Stress Support (CIPSS) or download a copy of the Staying Well – Promoting Wellbeing and Resilience Guide
Nothing is more important than our people – these messages about psychological wellbeing are strongly supported by our Unions and Associations and we are working closely together to ensure everyone is able to access the support they need.
This information on available support will also be available on the following Union and Association websites:
- NZPFU – New Zealand Professional Firefighters’ Union http://www.nzpfu.org.nz
- FECA – Fire and Emergency Commanders Association https://www.fireemergencycommanders.org.nz
- UFBA – United Fire Brigades’ Association http://www.ufba.org.nz
- PSA – The Public Service Association https://www.psa.org.nz
- FRFANZ – Forest and Rural Fire Association of New Zealand http://frfanz.org.nz
- You can also access support information through the Firefighters Welfare Society - http://www.firefighters.org.nz
Keep an eye out for more information on the Portal.
Thank you again for your support and all your efforts this year – please stay safe, healthy, and well and keep up the good work out there.