You may not realise that we stand at a pivotal point in time in shaping the sector and the latter part of a change process that started back in 2015 with the establishment of Fire and Emergency NZ and the subsequent Fire and Emergency New Zealand Act in 2017.
Now it’s time to say what is important to you around the operating model. There is only one week left in the consultation process.
Contribute to a submission
Change doesn’t happen in silos away from consultation. Fire and Emergency NZ are providing an opportunity to get involved and tell them what is important to you via Considerthis.co.nz/fenz by 18 October (more information can be found on FENZ portal here). We encourage you to make the most of this.
‘But nobody is going to listen to me!’ you say? Not so! If people echo similar thoughts, this will show a shared trend and that’s the power of the collective voice. Together with the combined voice of hundreds of FENZ volunteers and other FENZ Personnel, Fire and Emergency will have to take notice of your loud and resounding reasoning and voice. We’re adding our Association voice to that too.
We’ve already received calls about concerns over proposed changes to reporting boundaries and have fed this into our joint submission written with input from our combined FRFANZ and UFBA Think Tank.
What are the main points?
The operating model proposals are built around quite complex and lengthy volumes including Cabinet Papers, legislation, financial plans and policies from the preceding Transition phases. Much of the early work in this area has already been influenced by you through your Association. Some of the key principles to support your recommendations may include:
- Keeping what is working well in the fire services
- Ensuring the operating principles to assist with a unified culture with balancing different needs of career, volunteer firefighters and support staff plus their families and employers.
- Addressing declines in workforce and supporting retention including alternative and broader ways in which people can volunteer and ensure more investment in leadership opportunities
- Developing an Integrated Command System
- Utilising a Modular Service Delivery approach to planning with Community Risk and Need Systems (provided by LACs, Community and FENZ personnel) overseeing Regional Capability which oversees Local area capabilities (brigades and stations).
At the Heart of these reforms are clear directions for FENZ to ensure the wider community has a much closer connection and input into the work of FENZ and that the volunteer contribution is provided more recognition through more investment in them to ensure they are on an equal footing with all other FENZ personnel. Not treated better…. but treated equally, by redressing the historic under-investment in voluntarism (especially in rural areas).
We’ve already been involved in consultation on proposed Local Advisory Committee boundaries and Senior Leadership Team proposals and this represents the next stage. So take a moment to ask some of the questions that could be raised from this proposal: what would you like to see for progression, reward and recognition in your role? Is conflict resolved sufficiently? What form would you like volunteering roles to be? Do you have clear lines of reporting and do they work for you? Do you feel important messages around risk reduction are clearly communicated to your community?
Add your voice
As your association we’re here to make sure we provide a perspective to FENZ from the membership point of view. We’d like to thank the volunteers who gave up their time as are part of our Think Tank and encourage anyone else who feels they have experience around writing policy or strategic planning to get in touch for future sessions. We always welcome your input.
To review our submission which includes input from our representative Think Tank and contributions from individual firefighters following our invite for your submissions, please see the document linked below.
Please provide any feedback by lunchtime Wednesday 17 October to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let’s make sure Fire and Emergency continue to build an organisation that meets the needs of your community and all of the FENZ personnel that contribute to maintaining safety in the community.
He iwi Kotahi tatou! We are one people!
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