Update

COVID-19 Vaccine Update #006

Issue date:
Topic:

UFBA COVID-19 Vaccine Update #006: 29/10/2021

Fire and Emergency announces Health Order affected roles

Following the announcement by Fire and Emergency regarding the decision of roles that will be covered by the governments mandatory vaccination requirement, the UFBA advises members that we provided feedback to Fire and Emergency and highlighted benefits and risks associated with implementing their policy.

The UFBA was able to provide Fire and Emergency with ground-level insights, captured by the UFBA Vaccine Reference Group which encompasses a broad range of highly skilled members, with views on all spectrums of the topic.

The UFBA is always seeking to represent the views of all its members; as such we have deliberately avoided taking a strongly-held position either for or against vaccination because we are here to support members and everyone is entitled to their own views. Now that Fire and Emergency has made the decision we can now focus on the implications and next steps:

  • Firstly, the UFBA has been urgently seeking answers from Fire and Emergency on how this will be implemented and managed, how data will be collected and what privacy measures are being put in place to protect people.  

We can advise that all members will receive an individual links, to be able to confidentially provide directly to FENZ the personal information the Health Order requires to be obtained. There is no requirement for any members to disclose their vaccination status beyond the official Fire and Emergency confidential channels. The UFBA requests members be respectful of the privacy of others.

  • Secondly, the UFBA has increased its capability through the Vaccine Reference Group to maintain focus on three workstreams which are critical to members;
  1. Supporting individuals to make informed decisions.
    Whilst there may be some tight deadlines in place, you do have time and we can help with your process towards making an informed decision.
  2. Supporting brigade leaders to manage their brigades.
    We understand brigade leaders have been challenged through the unknown phase. Now that there is direction, the UFBA remains available to work with you moving forward and supporting you to lead your people.
  3. Assessing and managing change impacts on members, in partnership with Fire and Emergency.
    There is substantial work being done in this space. The outcomes aim to provide better awareness and understanding of how this affects members and what can be done to support members through implementation.

We encourage members to contact us at covidsupport@ufba.org.nz to provide feedback and for those needing support as a result of this decision and stay up to date with the latest developments on our website.

The whole of the world is changing and adapting as a result of COVID-19, all our lives have been significantly impacted by this virus. Regardless of your status or position, the wider vaccination plan from the government has implications on the way we will live, affecting more than our ability to operate as an emergency responder.

To that end, I remind members to be respectful and if you are needing further support I encourage you to use the free advocacy and support services available to you by phoning 0508 83 2269 or email support@ufba.org.nz.

 

Kia kaha, kia Kotahi ra.
Our strength is our unity.

Ngā mihi
Bill Butzbach
CEO, UFBA