UFBA congratulates four current firefighters and one retired firefighter, who received Queen’s Service Medals (QSMs) at Government House in Wellington on 21 May from the Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae.
With Mark Adie, UFBA President (centre left) are recipients Wayne Hurunui (Shannon), Keith Norton (Harewood Station), Brian Watters (Morrinsville),
One of Leigh Volunteer Fire Brigade's founding members has been recognised for his 26 years service, nearly 23 years after his death.
Robert (Bob) Davies was awarded a posthumous Gold Star - a New Zealand first.
Above image: Bob Davies' Gold Star was presented to his family. From left: Ian Davies (CFO Warkworth), Bob's wife Mavis, Paul Davies (ex-Leigh and
Hokitika VFB is kept busy with the worse flood in years
Also a clip on 3 News that show the Brigade in action
Just a reminder friends it is our annual honors night on Saturday night at the Matata Rugby clubrooms. In undress uniform, be there or be square.
Mark Adie was Vice President 2013/14 and succedes Bryan Styles as President for 2014/15. He is a fourth generation firefigher with over 100 years service in his family.
Here we get to know Mark...
1. When did you join the Fire Service?
I joined Hastings Brigade as a volunteer in May 1985 and did my training - volunteer basic, B.A. and pump operator courses. I then became a paid firefighter at Hawkes Bay in July 1987 where I completed my paid courses in Wellington and drivers, snorkel, command hazmat and B.A. maintenance in Hawkes Bay.
70% of appliances don’t carry Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) and there is a large variation in the remainder, including some without a paediatric mode.
The NZFS is taking action through their Enhanced Medical Response Capability programme so that the best possible service can be provided to our communities.
After research and testing, a single standard AED, the Medux Lifepak 1000, is being distributed to all pumping appliances across the country. There are over 700 new defibrillators and two ‘hot swap’ AEDs for each region (in case a unit fails or is unavailable) which will be rolled out over the coming months.
Watch out for updates from the NZFS about when your brigade will receive theirs and any training required to transition to the new unit.
The way forward
Chairperson of Directors, Rick Braddock, reassured delegates that “the UFBA has not been sitting idle” since the 2012 Fire Review Panel. Despite expectations that this report would be the catalyst for change, he explained this has not happened.
Establishing the value that volunteers contribute to the Fire Service has been a key focus for the UFBA to strengthen advocacy going forwards. In 2009, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) defined the value as $92 million. In 2014, this has been updated to $243 million. A further review by another consultancy has determined it to be $457 million. Each value has been based on a different set of assumptions, but provides the collateral needed to better represent and advocate for our members.
With these figures and an organisation that is fit for purpose and well equipped to advocate strongly, Rick Braddock advised Conference that it is now time to push ahead. The need for change is no longer just an issue that the UFBA is keen to pursue. The NZFS Commission sees that the funding model is under threat and there is support from the NZFS and Department for Internal Affairs. With a supportive and knowledgeable Minister and a new three year parliamentary term, Rick Braddock confirmed that the time is favourable for long-needed change to be driven forward. The UFBA are moving strongly to a new future.
George Verry, Chief Executive Officer, explained how the UFBA Directors and senior staff have been reviewing an external review by PwC. The findings and a recent consultation are feeding into the development of a long-term strategy and business plan to ensure that the UFBA is fit for the future.
Palmerston Volunteer Fire Brigade marked the incredible achievement of 60 years service by Alan Clearwater on 26 October and the start of his retirement. Alan is the fourth volunteer firefighter in New Zealand to ever reach this momentous milestone.
Back in 1954, Alan joined the brigade as a 17 year old when it used a 1936 Ford fire engine. He has progressed through the ranks to Chief Fire Officer and leaves as Brigade Support Officer. Alan’s service was recognised by the Queen in 2006 when he was awarded the Queen’s Service Medal for services to the NZFS.
“We will be very sorry to see you go but no one can deny you a well deserved retirement,” said Gary Johnston, CFO Palmerston.
Planning is underway for the brigade's 150th Jubilee in 2016. See the tab on this page for further information as the planning takes place.
Injuries at work occur despite strong operational procedures and training programmes. The NZFS are carrying out research to assist in improving safety and well-being.
Is there a disconnect between what firefighters are trained to do and what they actually do?
Is a certain level of risk taking to be admired?
Are safety standards accepted or challenged?
Watch out for a survey on safety culture within the Fire Service from Tuesday 28 October.
The NZFS would love to hear from you!