With the ever increasing demand on our members to attend MVA and medical calls, the Road Crash Rescue (RCR) and Trauma Challenges are becoming an essential part of the UFBA Challenge programme. For members, it puts pressure on to hone the skills required to properly manage these call outs and UFBA is determined to meet this demand.
For a number of years now, the UFBA have been working with NZFS with the aim to have Firefighter Combat Challenge funded to the same level as all the other UFBA events. Events Manager Ceara Owen-Perry received confirmation from the UFBA Board on 8 December this year that the New Zealand Fire Service had approved budgets that would allow for Firefighter Combat Challenge to be funded for competitors.
Well done to all those who participated in the Central Otago Waterways competition last weekend, particularly those new teams who participated in their maiden event.
Congratulations to all recipients of prizes and trophies.
Download 2-person competition results here.
Download 4-person competition results here.
See Challenge Photo Gallery here.
Can you change your mindset? Keynote speaker, Dr Tom Mulholland, took delegates on a journey of his Healthy Thinking tool, entertaining them with medical and personal anecdotes along the way.
Try three of Dr Tom’s tools and see if you can become a healthy thinker...
Be emotionally fit
Take the stress out of difficult situations at your brigades and in your personal lives.
“We’re more likely to make mistakes if we don’t think healthily and manage our emotions,” Dr Tom said. “90% is how you deal with what happens to you and 10% is what you can’t control”.
Using an analogy of our brain being hardware and the mind being software he explained that “You can’t run good hardware if the software is corrupt.”
Is your life in balance? Are you getting enough sleep and the right nutrition to strike the right work, life, play balance? You need to focus on health and happiness to achieve emotional fitness.
Believe it or not, it’s exactly 10 years since the review of fire services began. It was in December 2004 that the then Minister, George Hawkins, issued a discussion document inviting stakeholders’ views about reforming fire services.
The latest episode in the ongoing saga was announced at the UFBA Conference by Minister of Internal Affairs, Peter Dunne. He advised that there’s to be further consideration before changes to fire services legislation are finalised. He wants to build on recommendations of the Fire Review Panel, gathering additional, updating, information which might enhance proposed legislation to make fire services fit for purpose in the 21st century.
He says there’ll be opportunity for further submissions before the new law is drafted… and he figures he has 3 years during this Parliament to get a Bill passed into legislation.
An unintended sub-theme emerged at Conference, with several references to rural firefighting. These mentions quickly came into sharper focus with an address to delegates by the new National Rural Fire Officer, Kevin O’Connor, who gave an updated overview of the rural fire scene. He began with the mission statement, worth repeating here, which extends operations way beyond attending just vegetation fires.
“… in conjunction with stakeholders, leading integrated fire services,
and supporting other emergency services for safer rural communities”
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 nation-wide appliances and items of historical significance: a database that can be accessed by all contributing and interested parties. Alan’s also Chairman of the Fire Services Historical Society which has its collection at the Hall of Flame Museum, Ferrymead in Christchurch. The Trust is prepared to make the proposed National Register a 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. This project will start in 2015.
What do you do when you have a large a large bulk fuel facility and insufficient water?
That was the question tackled by SSO Mark Keller from the Tauranga Fire Brigade. Compounding the problem was insufficient foam. But without water, foam wouldn't be an issue.
The question took a number of years and work to answer. The answer came by engaging with the bulk fuel facilities and the city council. The water required to fight a fire at the port's bulk fuel facilities would have sucked the cities water supplies dry in hours. But, using the old adage of what goes in must come out, they looked at how waste water might be used. And there they found the solution. The water for fire fighting at these facilities now comes from the city's recycled water. This water is fully filtered and treated. Once it has been purified it can then be reticulated along piplelines to these high hazard sites. The Chevron site stores 2.2 million litres on site for the immediate requirements of fire fighting and to supply the deluge systems on the tanks on close proximity to a fire.
The UFBA Conference this weekend is a chance to hear from your nominees for the four new positions and to cast your vote. Who will be elected?
Here's the postitions and candidates who stand for nomination:
1. UFBA Vice President
Nominees are Russell Anderson CFO Alexandra Volunteer Fire Brigade and Lindsay Walker CFO Levin Volunteer Fire Brigade
2. & 3. UFBA Board of Directors
Nominees are Matthew Cleaver SFF Okaiawa Volunteer Fire Brigade, Nigel Lilley CFO Rolleston Volunteer Fire Brigade and Alan Kittelty CFO Darfield Volunteer Fire Brigade.
This week is one of the busiest in the UFBA calendar with the NZFBI Field Day on Thursday and our 136th Conference from Friday to Sunday in Tauranga.
Our Conference is the largest gathering of members across the year and we can't wait to welcome all our members for what will be an exciting and inspiring few days.
The Conference is a chance to learn about the latest in the fire and rescue industry, share UFBA achievements over the last year and plans for the year ahead. It's an opportunity to ask questions, vote on brigade issues, vote in new officers and socialise with firefighters across the country.
We’ve got a packed schedule of events, workshops and social functions. Here are some of the highlights to look forward to:
Fit for the Future
Hear from George Verry, UFBA Chief Executive Officer, and Rick Braddock, UFBA Chairman about what steps the assocation are taking to improve the UFBA and make us 'fit for the future'.