Beacon (Crowdsourcing)

Beacon is about you, and your ideas and expertise helping to shape the future of Fire and Emergency. It's a way of directly engaging with our people, harnessing the ideas from our incredible 'crowd' and selecting the best ideas for implementation.

Where are we up to?

Our current challenge questions are: Respect and Inclusion and On-going Improvement. For more information, see Beacon or login via: www.fenz.crowdicity.com(external link)

Organisation-wide people survey

From December to February, a survey invitation was sent to every person in the organisation to measure thoughts and opinions on various aspects of Fire and Emergency New Zealand. This information has been collected, analysed, presented to the Executive Leadership Team (ELT), and will be shared with the entire organisation in the near future . 

Where are we up to?

The findings from the surveys are very valuable, and will be used to inform decisions about the organisation moving forward. The voice of our people is one of our most important assets, so we look forward to gaining further insights from surveys to come.

Volunteer life cycle research

To help Fire and Emergency better understand the volunteer experience and offer improved support, we have commissioned SHORE and Whāriki Research Centre from Massey university to conduct research on our behalf.

The research will involve three different streams that focuses on newly recruited volunteers, current volunteers who joined between January 2015 and September 2018, and volunteers who leave between January 2019 and July 2020.

See Volunteer life cycle research 

Area stores (cleaning level 2 PPE)

This initiative is related to the to the setup of area stores around the country, to provide quicker access to clean gear for volunteers. 

Volunteers only have one set of L2 gear and accessories. Therefore, they have to send their L2 gear away for cleaning (this will now be replaced with new gear from the area stores) but they have to wash their gloves, helmet skirts and flashhoods before re-using. 

This funding is to supplement the stores with the required accessories to ensure volunteers are getting access to a full, clean kit, rather than partial. 

Where are we up to

The stores are now up and running in all areas and are being actively used. Accessories have been provided so firefighters have access to a full, clean kit when their current gear has been dirtied.

A funding application to continue to provide accessories year on year is now being worked through.

Financial management training and support

Brigades have the opportunity to receive financial management training and support currently being provided by the UFBA. 

Xero pilot

The ‘Xero project’ run by the UFBA was established as a pilot initiative to assess how to help brigades: put good financial management systems and processes in place; maintain appropriate financial records; and meet Charities Commission requirements.

Where are we up to

The pilot initiative has proved successful with over 200 brigades engaged as at April 2019. Ongoing funding arrangements and new processes to make Xero and/or other options available to all brigades from July 2019 are under development. The UFBA will continue to provide financial management training and support in association with Secretaries and Treasurers Workshops and related Helpline activities. Contact Jane Davie at the UFBA for more information. 

Secretaries and Treasurers Workshops (UFBA)

These workshops aim to strengthen the skills of brigade members who are responsible for brigade finances and administration including compliance roles and responsibilities. UFBA has also developed a comprehensive resource which is provided at these one-day courses - the UFBA Brigade Secretary Guidelines and the UFBA Brigade Treasurer Guidelines – including training material on the Xero software. The workshop also offers advice on streamlining processes and using computer systems more effectively, e.g. Portal, SMS and other Fire and Emergency systems.

Where are we up to

Five Secretaries and Treasurers Workshops are being held from March to June 2019 with eight more to be scheduled through FY 2019/2020. Contact Jane Davie at the UFBA for more information. 

Coaching and mentoring

Regions have been funded to provide a coaching and mentoring programme for existing and upcoming leaders. The aim of the programme is to invest in leaders to enhance leadership capability so they are able to lead and grow healthy, strong brigades. The programme also aims to support integration and network building by connecting urban and rural volunteer leaders to shared, local development opportunities.

Where are we up to

This programme is ongoing, see Leadership development through coaching and mentoring on the Training, learning and development page. Contact your manager, HR Manager or Volunteer Development Manager for more details.

Leadership and governance workshops (UFBA)

These workshops are designed to help build strong and sustainable brigades by enhancing leadership and governance. The workshops have been offered for five years, and over time have dramatically improved the capability of the senior operational leadership in brigades as well as the capability of brigade management committees. Many brigades now have the luxury of leadership succession options as a result of this activity.

Where are we up to

The UFBA are delivering seven Leadership and Governance Workshops  (five in Wellington and two in the regions) of 16 participants each in FY 2019/2020. The potential to extend participation beyond Chiefs/Controller to other leadership roles is under consideration. We're also considering how to use these workshops to help address the Independent Review’s recommendations relating to bullying and harassment.

Leading Psychological Wellbeing Workshops (UFBA)

These workshops are designed to equip firefighters with the skills and understanding to help them through traumatic and stressful incidents they encounter while performing their duties. They were introduced in 2018 as part of our commitment to supporting volunteers, focusing on the wellbeing of brigade members.

Where are we up to

The UFBA are delivering five Leading Psychological Wellbeing Workshops (four in Wellington and one in a region) in FY2019/2020. This workshop has been developed as complementary to psychological wellbeing courses being offered by Fire and Emergency New Zealand. The Leadership and Governance Workshop is no longer a prerequisite for this workshop – it is now open to all volunteer leaders. 

Volunteer Development Manager (VDM) pilot

These roles have been implemented to focus on developing and strengthening volunteer capability, including leadership capability. The Volunteer Development Managers work within a targeted portfolio to provide local, tailored support and development for current and emerging volunteer leaders and brigade leadership teams. Their work includes coaching/mentoring, facilitation, and assisting leaders to understand developmental needs.

Where are we up to

Since October 2018 all five positions have been filled as follows:

One-on-one Chief/Controller coaching (UFBA)

The UFBA is offering, during March to June 2019, one-on-one coaching time to attendees of the Leadership and Governance workshops. This coaching is offered in a series of three sessions to at risk brigades or on request by Chiefs/Controllers who have immediate requirements.

Where are we up to

This initiative will end in June 2019, with new and ongoing coaching requirements able to be advanced by respective Volunteer Development Managers.

CFO personnel resource kit 

We're revising this kit so it's appropriate for both our urban and rural brigades. Out-dated content will be updated and the kit renamed as Management resource kit. 

Where are we up to

Most sections have been drafted and are currently out for review with a look to publishing the Management resource kit on the Portal later in 2019.

This project's purpose is to implement the intended direct volunteer relationship through the design and implementation of a single replacement volunteer personnel engagement framework that replaces the Urban Agreements of Service and Model Rules, and the Rural Fire Force Agreements/Constitutions. This will give further effect to the Cabinet decision for volunteers to have a direct relationship with Fire and Emergency New Zealand.

Under the Fire and Emergency New Zealand Act 2017, existing Agreements/Constitutions for all volunteer brigades and fire forces were carried over to Fire and Emergency on 1 July 2017, and remain in place until such time that those agreements are replaced.

Where are we up to

The Strategic Leadership Team has paused work to develop and implement the in-house rules framework. The project will be reconsidered for delivery in 2019/20 as part of the next prioritisation exercise.

The Working Group has made excellent progress on the framework and drafting the new documents ready for wider consultation, along with the supporting policies. These will remain ready for when the organisation has the capacity to start the consultation process for this work. 

In the meantime, it is important that all our brigades and fire forces continue to apply the range of existing agreements/constitutions and transitional processes.

We are 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.

If advice is required in the interim, please contact John.kingsbury@fireandemergency.nz for Urban model rules or Kirsty.percasky@fireandemergency.nz for VRFF agreements.

Attraction activity

We're working with brigades and area offices who come to us for a hand with attracting new volunteers - whether it's just to discuss ideas or to provide hands on support with materials and resources. We've developed the Volunteer Attraction Toolkit which has information and resources brigades can use when considering volunteer attraction activity. We've run three large campaigns across the West Coast, Northland and Wairoa/Tairawhiti since August 2018. These have been successful in achieving significant numbers of expressions of interest.

Where are we up to

We're working with the Marlborough/Tasman/Nelson area.

We're developing generic resources that brigades can pick up and use, and will add these to the Volunteer Attraction Toolkit. This includes campaign-specific materials, as well as banners and materials to be used at events. We’re researching ways to better share success stories about volunteer attraction and recruitment with brigades and across the business. 

Pathways to Fire and Emergency (formerly the Cadet scheme) (UFBA)

The UFBA are leading a project that enables more brigades to get involved in youth engagement. Given the aspirations of young New Zealanders and the varying capabilities and willingness of brigades to engage with young people, a broader approach is considered to be more effective than a traditional cadet scheme. Brigades can choose from a range of tools to best suit their capabilities.

Where are we up to

The first offering, being an approach leveraging the ‘Gateway’ initiative offered in high schools and an after-school programme for 9-16-year olds, is being scoped by 30 June 2019.

Volunteer welcome packs 

We're producing a standardised welcome pack for all new volunteers that will be issued by our regions to volunteers. The pack contents have been designed for all volunteers, regardless of role, and will include relevant brochures (including for families and employers), checklists, policies and other key information for our people as they join the organisation.

Where are we up to

The content for the packs are being finalised and the completed packs will be sent for printing. Each region will be sent a stock of 50 packs to get them going with more copies available to order online.

We will begin implementing the following six volunteer reward and recognition initiatives over the coming months:

  • An annual payment of $300 to all volunteers to recognise that they sometimes incur expenses as part of their activities for Fire and Emergency.
  • An allowance of $50 per night to support the family/whānau of volunteers when they have to be away overnight for training.
  • Access to a web site offering discounts on a range of products and services.
  • Discounts with Fire and Emergency suppliers on day-to-day items.
  • Access to health insurance options.
  • An employer promotion scheme to complement Fire and Emergency’s current Employer Recognition Programme.

You can read more information about the above initiatives in the document Volunteer Reward and Recognition initiatives – implementation update.

This in support of the 2017/18 Statement of Performance Expectations (SPE) and forms part of our wider Volunteerism Strategy under the priority Thriving Volunteerism. It states that a key enabler to achieving Thriving Volunteerism is relevant and meaningful recognition for volunteers, their families and whānau, and employers.

Previously, reward and recognition arrangements across our more than 11,800 volunteers were varied. During 2018, significant work and targeted research was undertaken to determine relevant reward and recognition priority initiatives. The process involved national and international market research, workshops, talking to our people and other interested parties, a cost-modelling exercise, the assessment and prioritisation of options, and then consideration by the Board.

Consultation on a further set of initiatives worth several million dollars annually will begin shortly. These will include ensuring volunteers who attend major incidents have equitable access to payments and reimbursements for large incidents.

If you have any questions that aren’t answered in the document Volunteer Reward and Recognition initiatives – implementation update, please get in touch with rr.feedback@fireandemergency.nz

Employer Recognition Programme (ERP) signs

We're about to commence the national rebrand of our  Employer Recognition Programme (ERP) station signage and truck decal. The new signs have been designed around the principle of making it easy for our brigades to keep them up to date. The signs have a slat based system that show the employer names, and enable our brigades to easily remove and replace them as needed.

Where are we up to

Over the past few months, we have been running several pilots to confirm the new signage meets our requirements, and to confirm our installation processes. We're now ready to complete a national rollout of the remaining ERP registered stations.

Data cleansing (LSGC medals)

We're collecting, verifying and recording service records for all current personnel. This connects to the transfer of existing Long Service Good Conduct medal data currently held in an old access database. This will allow people to see their medals and honours in SMS and eventually in Home Base.

Where are we up to

We've completed the length of service data capture for all people who have previously received a service recognition. Work is in progress to capture service dates for people who haven’t yet received a medal or award.

Advocacy and Support

Since 1 July 2017, all volunteers have had access to free advocacy and support services for assistance in issues, complaints and disputes. These arrangements are provided on an interim basis while we work with the UFBA/FRFANZ and other stakeholders to develop an advocacy and support policy and services that are fit to support volunteers’ long term needs.  Valuable scoping work of future services has been done by the Working Group and this will be further developed in the future. 

Where are we up to

The Strategic Leadership Team has paused work to develop and implement new Advocacy and Support services.  The project will be reconsidered for delivery in 2019/20 as part of the next prioritisation exercise.

Volunteers continue to have access to the following free advocacy and support services:

  • UFBA and FRFANZ will provide advocacy and support services to all volunteers, but cannot provide rulings on any conflict or dispute. Freephone 0508 832 269 (Monday to Friday business hours), or send a confidential message at http://www.ufba.org.nz/about/contact(external link)
  • Volunteers can also use an alternative advocacy services by application to Fire and Emergency New Zealand for your case to be managed on a 'by exception' basis (considered case by case).  If you would like more information on how to access this please email independent.advocacy@fireandemergency.nz   

Safety, Health and Wellbeing Advisors

Additional in-field Safety, Health and Wellbeing support roles. 

Where are we up to

Recruitment of 10 additional regionally-based safety, health and wellbeing personnel will begin following confirmation of the new model for safety, health and wellbeing service delivery and leadership. This will ensure that the new roles are aligned with the Operating Model, sustainable and well supported, and able to reach our personnel across the breadth of the organisation and our wider mandate. Dates for recruitment activity will be advised in due course.

Temporary administration support

Areas were offered the opportunity of temporary administration support during 2018. This was subsequently extended to 30 June 2019.

Where are we up to

18 Areas continue to receive support with meeting local administration needs. 

Availability and Messaging System (AMS)

Mobile incident reporting

There is a desire to enable the completion of incident reporting remotely from the Fire Station and on personal devices in order to reduce the administration burden on volunteers. This initiative will provide flexible access and enable the potential to complete reports at a convenient time therefore improving the timeliness of reports.

Where are we up to

The design work has started to enable an incident to be completed on a tablet or iPad. It will also be possible to complete an incident on a mobile phone, but some screens will not fit the phone screen and will require scrolling down and across.

Detailed analysis is being carried out to load incidents a lot quicker, in most cases before they are closed by the Com Centre.

Volunteer Hub

We received a Beacon submission suggesting we review the layout of the Volunteer Hub on the Portal to make finding volunteer processes and procedures easier. Following collaboration with a variety of users as to what should be on the Volunteer Hub and how our people would access it, a redesign was completed. 

Where are we up to

We're live! Content has been grouped into categories to improve navigation and make finding content easier and faster, see Volunteer Hub.

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