Our new fire engine has arrived and we have started learning all about and training. Come down and see it at the Fireman's Market.
Another quiet month with regular training evenings and a few callouts and medical assists.
We have our awards evening coming up and are looking forward to a new fire engine.
Our thoughts go out to the Arizona families, firefighters and community in their time of loss of the 19 firefighters who perished suddenly.
Thankfully a relatively quiet period and summer - just a few motor vehicle accidents and medical assists. A sepcial thanks to all our residents and visitors for a fire free summer during what was a really hot, dry and potentially dangerous time.
Congratulations to Brett Rhind, Mark Cory-Wright and Rick Tawa for placing second in the two man competition in the NZ Waterway Challenge National championship in Cromwell earlier in March. This is the culmination of intense training and competitions at the local levels. They will now start training for the next competitiion in Tasmania. Way to go guys!
A report on fire services was released on 7 Feb 2013. The following excerpt of the UFBA synopsis of the report regarding volunteers is included below:
The Panel devotes a long section on volunteer firefighting and volunteering per se. The report notes that some 12,000 volunteers provide critical fire and rescue cover in provincial cities and smaller more remote communities. They also provide contingent capability in main centres in support of career brigades. For some classes of emergency such as motor vehicle extrications, the report observes, volunteers attend the majority of call outs and in smaller communities they are frequently expected to provide support to other services, such as ambulance.
On the statistics the report acknowledges that volunteer brigades comprise 80% of the total NZFS brigades and personnel and the document looks at the value volunteers bring to fire services. It’s estimated, the Panel says, the value of the lives saved, property losses avoided, and the cost of labour avoided, which have been conservatively estimated at around $80 million per annum and in addition, the value of the labour provided for free is estimated at $12 million per annum. The Panel notes, however, that many volunteers don’t want to see their contribution reduced to a monetary value.
It’s harder to establish, the report goes on, the less tangible benefits that volunteer firefighters provide, which go well beyond economic factors...volunteer brigades are seen as a critical resource that help give communities a sense of independence, security and autonomy.
Volunteers, the report says, spend countless hours of their own time improving their skills in training and practising so that they can discharge their responsibilities to the NZFS to the highest possible standard. In serious emergencies, volunteers stand side by side with, and take on the same arduous tasks and risks as the paid NZFS career staff. There must be no difference in treatment between volunteer and paid staff, the Panel says ... members of volunteer brigades must enjoy terms and conditions in the discharge of their responsibilities to NZFS which are in all ways equal to those applying to employees of NZFS involved in similar work and roles. Fairness and natural justice must apply to all appointment, performance assessment and disciplinary processes for NZFS personnel engaged in fire rescue and emergency work, whether volunteer or paid personnel.