Both the Chairman of the Fire Service Commission, Rt. Hon. Wyatt Creech, and Past President, Alan Cockburn, supported moves to further protect New Zealand’s fire services’ heritage.
They champion a register of nationwide appliances and items of historical significance: a database that can be accessed by all contributing and interested parties.
Alan is also Chairman of the Fire Services Historical Society which has its collection at the Hall of Flame Museum in Christchurch. The Society is prepared to make the proposed National Register its project, supported by both the Fire Service Commission and the UFBA, and wants all those who have fire brigade artefacts to provide details to be entered into the new database starting in 2015. View Alan Cockburn's presentation here.
The Board of Directors reported a solid year, both operationally and financially, and that for the first time the UFBA would be returning unused funds to the New Zealand Fire Service. $200,000 - a surplus created by a combination of reasons, including savings and the streamlining of Challenge events.
President for 2014/15, Mark Adie, was installed towards the end of the Conference by retiring President Brian Styles, who was later farewelled and conferred as Honorary Life Member of the Association, recognising his year as President and earlier service on the Technical Panel.
Nigel Lilley was elected for a further two year term on the Board of Directors and Matt Cleaver was also elected to the Board for a two year term.
The Vice President for 2014/15 is Russell Anderson and the new member of the Technical Panel is Alan Kennedy.
Garry Stanley addressed Conference for the last time as Patron, saying he is delighted that relationships between the UFBA and the Fire Service have improved since his comments last Conference. He commended all for adopting inclusive attitudes.
Dame Margaret Bazley was welcomed as the new Patron. In accepting office, she said that her admiration of volunteer firefighters has never flagged and she’s privileged to be asked to be Patron of the organisation that represents them.
The Benevolent Fund’s report was, for the first time in 23 years, not presented by Chairperson, Emrys Evans, who sent his apologies due to illness.
Emrys’ record of attending an incredible 55 consecutive Conferences was broken this year - Conference was not the same without his wisdom and jokes!
Emrys has stepped down as the Fund’s Chairperson and Alan Cockburn has been elected. Alan presented last year’s report on behalf of Emrys, indicating some $43,000 had been distributed to needy members.
Alan also gave notice of a remit to next year’s Conference seeking an increase in members’ contributions from $2 per member per annum to progress the work of the Fund.
Chairman of the Fire Service Commission, Wyatt Creech, concentrated on concerns over future funding, modernising the fleet of appliances, property maintenance and changes from 121 to 57 rural brigades.
National Commander, Paul Baxter, referred to a review of safety and Model Rules, the evolving service with a 70/30 split of non-fire related versus structured fires attended and a pilot of CFO performance reviews. He concluded by encouraging everyone to “embrace the new Vision”.
View Paul Baxter's presentation here.
An update by Leigh Duchars on Vision 20/20 followed, then consultation workshops with all delegates.
Conference in the capital
Wellington is confirmed as the venue for the 2015 UFBA Conference and will take place from 13-15 November 2015.
Further presentations covered the NZFS Sports Council, Vehicle Operator Requirements, UFBA Challenges Committee and Provincial Associations as well as three workshops around the ‘Healthy Thinking’ theme.
Minutes, presentations and photos
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