Across all parts of Fire and Emergency New Zealand, initiatives are underway to improve resources, capability and systems for our personnel, including volunteers. With volunteers making up around 11,000 of our personnel, and being recognised in our legislation, it important that we improve our support for them. Initiatives since 1 July 2017 include:
- Funding additional Leadership Development Courses to support broader leadership development outcomes, as well as new financial management training and support for brigades and fire forces – both being delivered by the UFBA.
- Speeding up the process to recruit volunteers – for example decreasing medical processing time has decreased by 21.81 days (from 2015 to 2017).
- Recruiting 12 new urban capability trainers and five rural training coordinators, to provide for local and flexible training activity, directly related to the needs of communities. Recruitment of the first five of 10 new rural capability trainers is also underway.
- Recruiting five new Volunteer Development Managers, in addition to the 14 new Volunteer Support Officers already in place to significantly increase direct support for volunteers.
- Making vaccinations for influenza and other infectious disease available to all rural and urban volunteers.
- Appointing an independent advocacy service for volunteers, while we develop our longer term advocacy and support systems for volunteers.
- Auditing the technology at our 209 Volunteer Rural Fire Force stations, and talking with regions to agree priorities for upgrades and training needs.
- Providing extra support for brigades and fire forces to recruit volunteers.
This is just a snap shot of what’s happening, with much more to come.