From 1 April all new operational volunteer recruits will be required to undertake a medical assessment as part of the recruiting process. This will be a new standard for our vegetation fire fighters and Volunteer Rural Fire Forces.

This process is part of assuring that all volunteers are both physically and mentally able to do the job required of them and to make sure everyone on the crew is safe.

Medical assessment forms will be sent to all Volunteer Rural Fire Forces as part of the recruitment packs and will be available to download from the Portal here.

The forms should be completed by the recruit’s usual GP who will then send them directly back to the volunteer recruitment team. It is this team that assesses the forms under the guidance of the National Medical Officer and decides whether the recruit is fit to become a member of Fire and Emergency NZ.

Recruits will not be required to pay for the medical. Fire and Emergency NZ will pay mileage for applicants who need to travel outside their community to complete the medical assessment.

There are a variety of essential support roles that a recruit may be able to perform if they are not suitable for an operational role.

Recruits applying for non-operational support roles such as secretary or treasurer will not be required to have a medical assessment.

Rural volunteers who joined Fire and Emergency NZ between July 1, 2017 and April 1, 2018, are encouraged to undertake the medical assessment. This will give them the opportunity to have a comprehensive medical assessment paid for by the organization. This is on a voluntary basis. If the assessment reveals significant health or safety concerns impacting an individual’s ability perform their current role, the individual’s leader will work with them to find roles and tasks suitable to their health.

The change is part of providing a more standardised process across the whole of Fire and Emergency NZ. It also fits with the guiding Safety, Health and Wellbeing principles that nothing is more important than our people and that everyone has the right to go home safe and well after working for the organisation – every time.

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