Volunteer Station Dashboards are updated daily between 8-10am. To access, go to Smart Atlas and then select your location.

The Information Centre link will also provide access - enter brigade name and then select the Volunteer Dashboard link on the right hand side under Related Links.

Useful documents

See Volunteer initiatives and projects > Model rules for an update on the Model Rules project.
Note: We are currently advising volunteer brigades and forces not to put local effort into re-writing their own rules or constitutions as we will ultimately provide Fire and Emergency documents that are fit for our new organisation.

Sample management structure charts:

Sample brigade orders:

Best practice guide to brigade management structures

Good brigade management structures ensure the efficient and effective operation of the brigade. Brigade members are encouraged to take responsibility for a part of the brigade management thereby ensuring the load is evenly shared amongst all members.

Within smaller brigades it may be impractical to have each member assigned to only one area of responsibility and there may need to be some additional areas assigned.

This best practice guide aims to provide some assistance to brigades looking to set up a more formalised structure, but is not intended to be a comprehensive or prescriptive tool.

Key reasons for adopting this approach are:

  • To spread the workload of the brigade equally across the brigade.
  • To reduce the Chief Fire Officer’s workload so they can spend more time concentrating on managing their brigade.
  • So brigade members can take ownership in the brigade.
  • To allow newer members to feel that they are contributing in the running of the brigade.
  • To allow members that are not as active in the response mode to contribute at an equal level.
  • To allow members to become a ‘jack of one trade’ instead of a ‘master of none’.
  • To improve an officer’s delegation skills.
  • To provide a good span of control.
  • To fully utilise the skill sets that each individual brings to the brigade.
  • To provide good succession planning for future brigade management.

The following are templated role descriptions for standard roles within brigades: 

Sample brigade management structure charts:

Best practice guide to brigade management structures

Good brigade management structures ensure the efficient and effective operation of the brigade. Brigade members are encouraged to take responsibility for a part of the brigade management thereby ensuring the load is evenly shared amongst all members.

Within smaller brigades it may be impractical to have each member assigned to only one area of responsibility and there may need to be some additional areas assigned.

This best practice guide aims to provide some assistance to brigades looking to set up a more formalised structure, but is not intended to be a comprehensive or prescriptive tool.

Key reasons for adopting this approach are:

  • To spread the workload of the brigade equally across the brigade.
  • To reduce the Chief Fire Officer’s workload so they can spend more time concentrating on managing their brigade.
  • So brigade members can take ownership in the brigade.
  • To allow newer members to feel that they are contributing in the running of the brigade.
  • To allow members that are not as active in the response mode to contribute at an equal level.
  • To allow members to become a ‘jack of one trade’ instead of a ‘master of none’.
  • To improve an officer’s delegation skills.
  • To provide a good span of control.
  • To fully utilise the skill sets that each individual brings to the brigade.
  • To provide good succession planning for future brigade management.

 

Management resource kit

Medical assessment

Advise applicants who require medicals:

  • to take their medical form to their usual doctor (who has their medical history) for their medical
  • that their medical centre will keep one copy on file and send the medical and invoice to Volunteer Recruitment in Wellington
  • remind them not to pay for their medical as Fire and Emergency will pay for this
  • organise their appointment quickly so there’s no delay in the recruitment process.

Medical Assessment Forms: 

Day to day running of your brigade provides links to general policies and procedures like how to order PPE or organise property or vehicle repairs and maintenance, and quarterly checks/annual audits.

Volunteer reimbursement and financial policies summarises when we reimburse financial losses to volunteers with links to further information and other financial policies. 

Brigades receive quarterly grants which are used to reimburse members for expenditure incurred in the course of their brigade business and to pay any honorariums.

Grants are principally for non-operational items not funded by Fire and Emergency, e.g. running costs (AGM, administration, actual expenditure and honoraria), member recognition (honours nights, functions, donations and gifts), subscriptions (associations, benevolent fund and sports council), celebrations (significant anniversaries), upkeep of brigade owned assets and second and subsequent delegates attendance at association conferences.

An annual return must be submitted by:

  • urban brigades to the region within six months of their balance date
  • rural brigades to the PRFO within four months of their balance date, then PRFO to the region within six months of the balance date.

Note: While annual returns require an indepedent review, they don't require formal auditing. See Volunteer brigade grants policy and Voluntary rural fire force grants policy.

Note: Canteen Managers must also complete an annual report within two months of the brigade’s financial year end using the Canteen Manager annual report form.

See Annual financial returns and grants for links to relevant policy, guidelines and templates.

Staying well / psychological support 

The Staying well - promoting wellbeing and resilience booklet provides guidance about how to protect and support firefighters' psychological wellbeing and resilience.

Tier One help - Self referral 

  • Most helpful when people might have a need for support for a shorter period.
  • Helpful for non-trauma related issues, e.g. financial, relationship or family concerns.
  • Peer support that is open to everyone initially and then options for referral if required.
  • Up to three counselling sessions with employee assistance programmes – but can be for longer.
  • Available to immediate family members of Fire and Emergency personnel.
  • When people want to be private rather than talk to their manager or Safety, Health & Wellbeing Team.

Entry points for tier one help:

  • Self-referral – at this level can be anonymous.
  • Safety, Health and Wellbeing Team and your manager can be a gateway to all services.
  • Unions, associations and societies accessible to members.

 See Seek safety, health and wellbeing support

Tier Two help – Referral to a contracted clinical psychologist

  • Accessed confidentially through the Safety, Health & Wellbeing Team, Injury and Illness Management Unit, Welfare Liaison Officer.
  • Most useful when people are likely to need support for more than three sessions.
  • Number of sessions is based on individual needs and in discussion with the clinical psychologist.
  • Preferred option where there is a trauma-related concern.
  • Support open to all Fire and Emergency personnel – employees and volunteers.

Entry points for tier two help:

Confidential referral via:

Psychological wellbeing workshop

We encourage all leaders by position and influence to take part in the wellbeing workshop. Please contact your Safety, Health & Wellbeing Coordinator if you would like a workshop for your brigade.

Mentoring new members

Work through the Volunteer general induction checklist and the Volunteer safety and wellbeing induction checklist (which you will receive in the Volunteer Welcome Pack) with the new member and assign them a buddy or mentor.

First impressions are vital if you’re to retain your new volunteer. Devote part of your recruitment plan to ensuring that all new volunteers immediately feel like they belong. These same new members are also your best recruitment tool for the future. If they are impressed with your brigade, they will tell everyone they meet how great you are. They blow your trumpet for you, and actively recruit others to volunteer. Encourage this behaviour by providing satisfying work, ongoing support and regular recognition.

The role of a buddy/mentor is to ensure the new recruit is engaged in the brigade culture and not left to find their own way through the myriad of new information and experiences that occur in new roles like this.

Mentors generally have two or three years of experience in the brigade. Where possible try to match individuals with similar personalities, hobbies, likes and dislikes.

Choose someone who had recently gone through the process with the experience still fresh in their minds. They are more likely to see the differences that trip up beginners than more senior brigade members whose experience will help in other ways.

A key part of this mentoring is to assist the new recruit through their initial training, e.g. the TAPS induction process.

For more information on induction, see Induction on the Attraction, recruitment, induction, transfers and exits page.

Misconduct is where a member’s performance does not meet the agreed Standards of Conduct.

Poor performance is failing to achieve the required standard of work. This includes poor attendance at training. The focus is on assisting the member to improve.

Most allegations of minor misconduct or poor performance can be dealt with by setting, modelling, clarifying and explaining expectations.

When this fails, an informal discussion with the Chief Fire Officer or Rural Controller can be effective in resolving the matter.

For serious misconduct or repeated poor performance, it may be necessary to deal with the matter with formal disciplinary action and these processes are documented on the Guideline: Manage volunteer poor performance or misconduct allegations.

Safety, health and wellbeing support

The Volunteers health and psychological support pamphlet and the Seek safety, health and wellbeing support page summarise all that’s available on the safety and health and wellbeing front for volunteers. These include:

  • vaccines for infectious diseases
  • annual flu vaccination
  • free and confidential psychological support for volunteers and their families, e.g. peer support and confidential advice or counselling through Vitae Services or EAP
  • Hauora health monitoring programme – a confidential health monitoring programme.

Financial support if injured

Under the UFBA administered Accident Assurance Scheme, volunteers injured in the course of duty can receive payment for loss of wages in the first week of injury and an allowance of 20% of wages for additional time of incapacity to top up the 80% paid by ACC.

Note: Volunteers do not need to be a member of the UFBA to receive this support.

Insurance

Volunteers can:

  • claim for loss or damage of their personal effects as a result of attending an incident or being on Fire and Emergency business. Conditions apply, see Claim for loss or damage of volunteer’s personal effects.
  • Fire and Emergency carries personal accident insurance. Subject to exclusions, this policy covers accidents sustained by volunteers whilst performing Fire and Emergency activities (including transit to and from those activities). For a list of the policy, benefits, exclusions and limitations, see Personal accident insurance.

Reward and recognition 

There are a number of initiatives that acknowledge the valuable contribution our volunteers make. These include:

  • an annual $300 volunteer reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses
  • access to discounted rates for health insurance
  • access to hundreds of offers around New Zealand via the Frequent ValuesTM website
  • access to discounts negotiated directly by Fire and Emergency

See Volunteer benefits for details.

Associated agencies

There are a number of societies your volunteer can join, offering different benefits. See Firefighter’s Welfare Society and the Firefighters Credit Union.

Uniform

We provide your volunteer with the items of PPE they need to perform their job (this varies by role). See the Uniform issue matrix for details.

Free advocacy and support services

Free advocacy and support services are provided via the UFBA/FRFANZ for assistance (including advice, support and/or representation) in any dispute, complaint or conflict, see Advocacy & Support Services.

Learning and development

There is a wealth of resources on Mind Tools which volunteers can access to help them in both their volunteering with Fire and Emergency and in their personal/professional life.

Employer Recognition Programme (ERP)

The Employer Recognition Programme is a great way to recognise a volunteer’s employer for the help and support they provide enabling us to do the work we do and in caring for their community.

Attending or hosting association conferences and competitions (UFBA and FRFANZ)

Fire and Emergency provides:

  • grants to brigades hosting conferences and competitions.
  • reimbursement of one delegate’s cost for attending conferences.
  • reimbursement of competitors and officials’ costs for attending competitions or challenges.

See Policy: Association conferences and competitions

Brigade grants

The brigade grant is there to support your members for non-operational items, such as providing tea and coffee, holding functions, holding honour nights and honorariums. Deductions are automatically taken from the grant for UFBA membership and benevolent fund (for brigades who are UFBA members) and Sports Council membership.  See Volunteer brigade grants policy.

Fire and Emergency, the UFBA and FRFANZ recognise worthy service and actions by volunteers in a variety of ways, e.g. long service awards, bravery citations and certificates of commendation.

For further information, see POLHR6-2 Medals, honours and awards policy, the Honours and awards page and read the summary below.

Contents

This section contains the following content:

Fire and Emergency awards and honours

UFBA service honours

FRFANZ service honours

Gold star events

Fire and Emergency awards and honours

New Zealand Fire Brigades Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (LSGC)

  • Awarded to operational personnel for:
    • 14 years’ merit-worthy service
    • 7 years’ further merit-worthy service – clasp (up to a fifth clasp after 49 years)
    • along with each clasp, a rosette to wear on the ribboned bar.
  • Eligible personnel, brigade secretary or their officer complete the Application form for the NZ Fire Brigades LSGC Medal form.
  • Medal to be presented at a special presentation parade.
  • Miniatures can be purchased.
  • For more information, including on presentation, see NZ Fire Brigades’ LSGC Award guidelines.
  • Living recipients can purchase a replacement LSGC medal if theirs has been lost, stolen or damaged. They need to complete a Statutory Declaration for loss of insignia form and provide documentary proof, e.g. police report.

Long service gift from the Board

  • Awarded to personnel for:
    • 25 years’ service
    • 50 years’ service
  • CFO, Controller or Region Manager need to provide NHQ with the appropriate documentation. The Gold Star Commission Gift form provides an indication of the required details.
  • Presentation normally combined with the UFBA medal presentation, see Gold star events below.

Recognition by the Board

  • Awarded to personnel for:
    • Citation or certificate of commendation – bravery or exemplary action in extreme danger, in the course of duty
    • Certificate of commendation – exceptional devotion to duty or exceptional ability or skill in the course of duty
    • Badge or medal – outstanding contribution to a significant national or international event
    • Certificate of appreciation – outstanding contribution, beyond normal expectations, to Fire and Emergency duties
  • Personnel or the public can nominate and Region Managers ensure recommendations are initiated for an appropriate honour or award.
  • Presentation made by either the Chief Executive or senior managers at an appropriate occasion.

UFBA service honours

  • 3 year certificate
  • 5 year medal
    • 2 years’ further service up to 23 years – Silver Bar
  • 25 year Gold Star Medal
    • 2 years’ further service up to 49 years – Gold Bar
  • 40 year Certificate
  • 50 year Medal
    • each 2 years’ further service – Gold Bar
  • Brigade Life Honorary Membership Medal
  • Brigade Secretary, Chief Fire Officer or Rural Controller completes the relevant application form, see UFBA > Membership > Service Honours
  • Presentation of medals normally combined with the Fire and Emergency long service awards, see Gold star events below.

FRFANZ service honours

Active rural firefighters are eligible for:

Silver medals and bars

  • 3 years’ service – silver medal
  • each 3 years’ further service – silver bar

Note: The same period of service cannot be used to claim both UFBA and FRFANZ Service Honours.

Gold star medals and bars (FRFANZ Service Star)

  • 25 years’ merit-worthy service – gold medal
  • 3 years’ further service up to 49 years – gold bar
  • 50 years’ merit-worthy service – service star
  • each 3 years’ further service – gold bar
  • applications for the award must be in writing to the Secretary of the Management Committee.

For more information, see FRFANZ > Membership Information (scroll down to Service Honours).

To apply, complete the Application for Award of FRFANZ Service Medal and Bars form.

Gold star events

  • Presentation of the UFBA 25 year gold star medal and 50 year medal must be made by a UFBA representative. Six months’ advance notice of the presentation date is required for the UFBA to organise presenters.
  • Accommodation and meal costs of personnel representing the UFBA are charged to the host brigade.
  • Brigades compile the invitation list.
  • The UFBA provide a suggested format guidance for the event and further information, see UFBA > Membership > Service Honours or ask them for a copy of their UFBA Guide to Service Awards and Honours booklet.

Online ordering - Landau

The online ordering system, Landau, provides delivery of promotional resources for community education and promotional activities, see Online Ordering.

If you require access or want to enquire about promotional resources, contact onlineordering@fireandemergency.nz.

Available booklets include:

  • Becoming a Fire and Emergency New Zealand Volunteer
  • Welcome to the team – Nau mai ki te tima
  • Volunteers – Good for your business and the community

There are also further resources to order, such as:

  • stickers and an activity book for children
  • education resources for pre-schools, years 1&2 and firefighter resources
  • home fire safety, e.g. Make You Home and Family Fire Safe brochure, Fire Safe Checklist, Home Fire Safety Visit, and Escape my House resources
  • rural fire safety, e.g. Be Fire Safe at the Interface and Fire Safety for Rural Living Brochures as well as Fire Season and Check it’s Alright Posters
  • seasonal fire safety brochures for summer and winter
  • promotional giveaways such as wrist bands and wooden spoons.

The Promotional resources and events page provides more information on Escape My House and colouring competitions.

School programmes

The School Programmes page provides information on school programmes like Firewise, Get Firewise and Kura Kaupapa.

Home fire safety visits

The Home fire safety visits page provides information on a number of tools and training resources to help you deliver home fire safety visits in your community.

Video resources

Employer videos

There are resources available on YouTube that you can show prospective employers on what it can mean for them to have a Fire and Emergency volunteer on staff.

New volunteer videos

There are resources aimed at people thinking of volunteering on YouTube.

Volunteer Attraction Toolkit

The Volunteer Attraction Tookit has information and resources to help your station to recruit new volunteers.

Fire Awareness and Intervention Programme (FAIP) 

FAIP is a free, consequence based, education programme delivered by trained firefighters to help children overcome unhealthy firelighting behaviour.

Privacy

See Privacy: What it means and how to respond to requests or complaints

Note: At brigade level it’s important that personnel files are kept on station in a locked cabinet. If a privacy matter arises, seek advice from the Privacy Officer.

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