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Career Firefighters, Emergency Call Centre Dispatchers, Volunteer Support Officers, Trainers and Community Risk Reduction Officers are fighting for your safety.

Support them so they can protect you!

Fire and Emergency NZ is funded to respond to crisis not create a crisis. FENZ’s failure to plan and focus resourcing on emergency response is impacting on the protection of the community.

Fire stations have closed, and trucks are offline as there are not enough firefighters. When that happens another truck from a different station has to respond which means a greater distance and therefore likely delays.

Any delay can be deadly. FENZ’s own promotional advertising records that three minutes can be the difference between life and death.

FENZ has failed to recruit and resource enough career firefighters to staff the trucks and keep the career fire stations open 24/7.

Firefighters are working unsafe hours with unreliable fire trucks and failing equipment escalating the risk to their own health and safety.

Firefighters have reported regularly working more than 70 hours a week with some clocking up more than 100 hours a week. They are exhausted.

And it is not just a firefighting staffing crisis.

There are insufficient 111 emergency call centre dispatchers to ensure minimum staffing is maintained. Too often only one dispatcher is servicing the whole of the South Island or dispatchers from other call centres are having to juggle their workload with another call centre’s area to ensure volunteer and career firefighters are responded.

FENZ is failing to provide sufficient support to volunteer brigades. Volunteer Support Officers are struggling under increased workloads and having to work overtime to ensure volunteer fire brigades have essential equipment and support.

FENZ is refusing to address the staffing crisis.

FENZ is refusing to acknowledge there is a staffing crisis.

What Crisis?

A crisis of confidence

Firefighters must be able to rely on safe systems of work to protect them while they protect the community. To walk into fire, the firefighter must be able to trust there are enough properly trained and experienced firefighters supporting them, that their uniform, hoses and breathing apparatus will protect them.

In recent times, firefighters have not had that confidence. Firefighters have been caught inside a burning building without water because a pump on the truck failed or a hose burst. These failures not only put the firefighter in immediate increased risk, but it impacts on the firefighters’ ability to rescue or the tactics they can use to control the fire.

Dangerous staffing levels

FENZ does not employ sufficient career firefighters to maintain minimum crew levels. The level of career firefighters across New Zealand has barely changed since the 1990s.

Career fire stations have been closing and fire trucks left idle when there are insufficient career firefighters.

Fire trucks and specialist appliances in crisis

Fire trucks and specialist aerial appliances are failing putting the lives of firefighters and the community at unnecessary risk.

In 2019 systemic cracks and defects were found on almost all of the newest fire trucks.

FENZ insures admin staff but refuses to insure firefighters

FENZ management, HQ and administration staff are automatically covered by FENZ’s income protection scheme but FENZ refuses to provide an income protect insurance allowance to firefighters.

Yes! You read that correctly.

Devalued Firefighters

Some career firefighters are the lowest paid employees in FENZ. Recruits and the first level of firefighter are on the lowest wage band across all of FENZ’s roles.

Currently, the rank of firefighter is barely scraping in the minimum wage and is not being paid the NZ living wage.

FENZ “ad hoc” approach to psychological wellbeing

St John Ambulance recently reported FENZ firefighters co-responded to 96 percent of all of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests.

FENZ has refused to include baseline care in the firefighters’ collective agreement and is also refusing to commit to ongoing access to psychologists for those needing support from trained and qualified practitioners.

FENZ refuses to acknowledge Firefighters’ occupational cancer

It is internationally accepted that firefighters contract specific cancers due to exposures to carcinogens when firefighting. FENZ is refusing to acknowledge this increased risk of cancer and incidence of cancer in the firefighters’ employment agreement.

Disrespect in different safety standards

FENZ has different standards for staff working in FENZ HQ compared to its standards for those working from fire stations.

NZPFU members have been working on an expired Collective Employment Agreement for:

NZPFU Friends and Families

Protecting the community takes its toll on the NZPFU member but also impacts directly on their family and friends.

The fire crisis is affecting all the NZPFU members’ health, safety and wellbeing and that has a domino effect for their families and friends. Exhausted, struggling emotionally and mentally, and the impact having to work for an organisation that does not value or respect your work are not issues that are left on station or the workplace at the end of shift. Our members carry that impact on their health and wellbeing with them back home and into their personal lives.

Families and friends of NZPFU members are sharing their experiences to assist the public understanding of the personal costs of the fire crisis.

TikTok @firecrisis

If you’re TikTokin’ the Fire Crisis please use #FireCrisis and tag @firecrisis

Support NZPFU members in their fight to have FENZ held accountable for the current crisis and to act for change.

Career Firefighters, Emergency Call Centre Dispatchers, Volunteer Support Officers, Trainers and Community Risk Reduction Officers are fighting for your safety.

Support us to protect you 

Support us to protect you 

Support us to protect you 

Support us to protect you 

Support us to protect you 

Support us to protect you