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'.
Get set for Waterways...
The 2015 Waterways season kicks off in January. With four regional Challenges leading up to the National finale, it’s time to get involved and get training now!
Our Waterway Challenges are a UFBA tradition dating back as far as 1885. They’re a great opportunity to put your hose-running and pump-operating skills whilst experiencing the thrill of a competition.
Enter two teams - the UFBA funds one two-person and one four-person team from each brigade to attend the Regional Waterway Challenge in their region and the National Waterway Challenge.
The Carterton team have won three out of the last four National Challenges. Last year, Balclutha’s four-person team and Darfield’s two-person team were the 2013 National Waterway Champions. Can your brigade rise to the challenge and win in 2015?
Watch out for the registration information that will be sent to all brigades mid-October and available on this website. Registrations open at the end of November.
Tom Reid from the UFBA Technical Panel has competed in Waterway Challenges for the last 24 years. Here he shares some tips...
We have a packed schedule for you for the UFBA Conference in Tauranga from 31 October - 2 November. Come and learn about the latest in the fire and rescue industry, have a vote on the issues that matter to your brigade and celebrate your hard work with other brigades across the country.
The role of firefighters is continually evolving and changing. We see how brigade members are expected to have a wide range of personal tools to assist with fire duties. These skills are far reaching - from basic administration, to leadership and sometimes complicated Human Resource skills.
The UFBA recognises your changing needs and so, new to the Conference this year, we’ve arranged an inspiring line up of workshops. Come and be entertained and educated on topics that are relevant to you. ‘Sustainability’ is the theme of this year’s Conference and will be the basis of the workshops. Based around how to better manage the firefighting environment, through mental and physical health, you will come away with lifelong tools to apply in everyday sitations, both at home and at work.
Over 70 people took part in this year’s September 11 Memorial Climb in Auckland, arranged by Tony Scott from Auckland Airport Brigade. Now in its sixth year, the stair climb honours and remembers all firefighters, both in New Zealand and overseas, who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
The stair climb mirrored stair events taking place across
We are excited to announce the keynote speaker for the UFBA Conference - Dr Tom Mulholland.
Senior Medical Officer for the Department of Emergency Medicine, Auckland City Hospital and Honorary Lecturer in Psychological Medicine at the University of Auckland - Tom really is a keynote speaker with a difference.
Tom is a surfer with a passion for adventure and helping people. He was awarded a NZ Defence Service Medal for his work in the Boxing Day Tsunami; has survived being hit by another Tsunami; been stabbed in a home invasion and had a number of setbacks he has used to develop tools to make the most out of life.