Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) kits for all and High Court decision

Issue date:

The UFBA has received many calls and emails from members expressing their concerns towards the Health Order applicable to firefighters, the Ministry of Health (MOH) restrictions on Fire and Emergency’s use of MOH issued RAT Kits, and Fire and Emergency’s recognition of privately sourced RAT kits.

We understand the impacts of the ongoing demands for vaccine and booster requirements put on members. As such, we are in active discussions with Fire and Emergency to ensure they are fully aware of these issues and the UFBA is making formal recommendations;

  • That the use of ANY Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) is allowed for brigades remaining operational and safe – currently, the Fire and Emergency RAT kits are the only tests deemed acceptable to respond and can only be given out under strict criteria as set by the Ministry of Health.
  • It is time the mandates are reviewed in line with the Government, signaling that a shift towards unwinding COVID-19 policy may be considered.
  • Fire and Emergency to continue providing simple, straightforward, practical guidelines for brigades to keep themselves safe on the station.

We have worked with a significant number of members since these mandates were put in place last year, and we sincerely appreciate members sharing their thoughts, comments, and experiences with us. All of which enables us to provide evidence to approach the decision-makers and appeal for change reflecting the views of our membership.

Lastly, we are also in discussions with Fire and Emergency around the High Court decision made on Friday 25 February 2022 regarding the vaccination order on Police and Defence Force personnel. All parties acknowledge this legal development may have broader implications, and we expect to have an update later today or tomorrow.

We encourage members to hang in there! We need to continue to stand united while we progress our way through the sharp end of this together.

Our lines are always open; covidsupport@ufba.org.nz.

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