On March 15, 2021, Fire and Emergency responded to a combine harvester fire on a farm near Ashburton. During the response to this fire, a Fire and Emergency vehicle caught fire. This was a serious incident, and it was important that we undertook rigorous operational and health and safety reviews to determine areas for improvement and ensure lessons learned from the experience are shared across the organisation.

As a national emergency management organisation, our people need to be equipped and supported to respond to a very wide range of incidents, involving different terrain and often challenging circumstances. Overall, the reviews highlighted opportunities to improve how we train our people, manage our fleet, and maintain the highest level of health and safety for all our people. The reviews also identified ways we can continue to unify our organisation.

Fire and Emergency is committed to continuous improvement and an action plan to address the findings and recommendations of the reviews is being put in place to reduce the likelihood of an event like this happening again.  We’d like to thank everyone who participated in the reviews. Your input was incredibly valuable and will be reflected in the improvement plans we are developing.

While this mahi is underway, progress is already being made on a number of key focus areas including:

  • Centralisation of the Level 2 incident investigation budget
  • Establishment of a permanent learning review/L2 investigation function
  • Improved communication pathways between OER, SHW and Continuous Improvement

The reports from the reviews are publicly available via the following links:

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