Support services – someone to speak to

With over 500 volunteer brigades and fire forces across New Zealand and 12,000 firefighters, it’s only natural that sometimes problems may arise between individuals. This can lead to disputes, complaints or conflict.

A fire station may have a range of different personalities and like any workplace sometimes personalities may clash. Sometimes people may act inappropriately. Sometimes behaviour that may be considered ‘ok’ around one group of people may not be ok around others. Or sometimes you may be treated unfairly or differently for any number of reasons.

Regardless of whether you are a volunteer or career firefighter, no person should ever be made to feel uncomfortable by another person’s actions or words.

That’s where the UFBA can support you. We not only advocate for volunteers within the sector but also provide a personal support service to help you resolve any differences in your brigade or fire force. You are entitled to these services free of charge.

In a workplace you might be able to go to the HR Manager. But what if you can’t go to your CFO or Officer. The nature of many brigades and fireforces is such that the team may be ‘tight’ and you don’t know who to turn to.

What happens when I call?

Disputes and conflicts will need both sides to be heard. We offer an impartial, non-judgemental and understanding sounding board. Your enquiry will be dealt with in the strictest confidence.

With your permission, we can arrange for a trusted support person from another brigade to talk with both parties. They’ll ask questions, discuss what may have happened to cause the conflict and offer advice to either resolve it or escalate to a higher level if necessary.

What if you feel uncomfortable calling?

The important thing to remember is that everyone has a right to be treated fairly. While it may seem easier or risk-free to ignore a situation, if this prevents you enjoying what you do or losing the value in it then this risks your team losing one of its members. You have nothing to lose in giving us a call and we can hopefully help you to continue with many more years of happy and rewarding experience.

Call us Monday - Friday on Freephone 0508 832 269 to speak with Jane or Ceara. If you’d feel more comfortable emailing us then drop us a note to membershipsupport@ufba.org.nz and we’ll get back to you.

The UFBA is here to support our volunteers to maintain positive relations.

Our staff here to support you:

Jane Davie – Jane started with the UFBA in September 2006 and was a member of a volunteer fire brigade for almost ten years. She has valuable and first-hand experience of the functional and operational needs of fire brigades and their members.

Ceara Owen-Perry – Ceara joined the UFBA in 2012 having spent many years previously as a senior manager in hospitality industry. This gave Ceara extensive experience in supporting staff welfare, HR issues and maintaining operations.

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