Welcome to the 5th issue of the Fire and Emergency New Zealand Bulletin. With just over two weeks until Day One, a lot of things are falling into place. With increasing amounts of information available it’s important that you are able to find what you need.
To help, our business services people have been updated and will be able to help answer questions. We’ve also set up a Change Support Network and we’re setting up a dedicated phone line and email support to help guide you through the next steps. Find out more below.
Please feel free to print this information sheet and pass it on. Please also check past issues of the Board Update and the Bulletin on the Transition Project’s website. If you have any questions or comments, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
John Rasmussen has been appointed National Manager Rural Operations on a two year fixed term. He will be a member of the Operational Leadership Team (OLT).
Planning beyond Day One: Phase 2 Blueprint
Day One is an historic moment, but it’s only the start. It’s over the next three years that the real benefits of establishing Fire and Emergency New Zealand will begin to be felt.
There’ll be a lot happening as we integrate urban and rural fire and emergency services, but at the same time it’s vital to continue to deliver the services our communities rely on.
From 1 July 2017, the Chief Executive and the Strategic Leadership Team will be responsible for both ‘business as usual’ delivery of services and integration work.
Transition Director David Strong will continue as a member of the Strategic Leadership Team with the new title of Integration Director. He will lead the Integration Group, which will be part of Fire and Emergency in the same way as other business groups.
Some integration projects will be led and managed by the Integration Group and some by business groups within Fire and Emergency NHQ. As with the transition work to date, the integration will continue to involve our people – drawing on collective knowledge, skills and expertise through the ‘co-design’ process.
The plan for the integration phase can be found in the newly released Phase 2 Blueprint summary online at fenzproject.co.nz/phase-2-blueprint.
The Phase 2 Blueprint is a work plan and contains six strategic priorities and three ‘enabling’ functions. The strategic priorities outline what we need to achieve in the next three years. The enabling functions support these.
The six strategic priorities are:
· Integrated organisation and operating model
· Safety, health, and wellbeing
· Resilient communities
· Risk reduction
· Leadership across the sector.
The three enabling functions are:
· People capability, leadership, culture
· Project and change management (including communications and stakeholder engagement).
Grouped into these categories of work are around 70 projects. Some are a continuation of projects that are already underway and some are new.
In the first 12 months, the main effort for the Integration Team will be designing the Target Operating Model.
This is a bit like developing the architectural plans for a new home. We need to carefully think about how we want our new organisation to work before we build it. We’ll need to make choices about things like centralised vs decentralised systems and decision-making, the degree of flexibility in brigades and fire forces, and how we best work together. This will need input and involvement from across Fire and Emergency and our stakeholders. Our first step is to plan how and when to involve people in the co-design process.
We can only work on our strategic priorities if our organisation is stable. That means keeping the trucks rolling out the doors and serving our communities will continue to be as important as any integration activity.
Day One Tool Kit on its way
The Day One Tool Kit is being delivered to all stations, brigades, Voluntary Rural Fire Forces, and other offices and premises, this week. It includes practical information and directs you to further resources.
In the pack:
· A welcome message from the Chair
· Ten ‘quick reference cards’ which recap key information
· A magazine with stories from people involved in setting up Fire and Emergency New Zealand
· A plaque
· Posters and a postcard for handing out to any community members asking about the new organisation
· A video message from the new Chief Executive, Rhys Jones, National Manager Urban Paul McGill and National Manager Rural Kevin O’Connor included on a memory stick.
You can find the contents of the pack online at fenzproject.co.nz/dayone, If your site hasn’t received a pack by Friday 23 June 2017, please email email@example.com
Recruitment for new roles
New volunteer support roles
New roles created to provide additional support for training and development, in-field support and safety, health and wellbeing will be filled during the first year of Fire and Emergency New Zealand.
The Transition Project Team is currently working with the organisational leadership team, which includes the new Regional Managers Rural (RMRs) and the Manager Regional Training to confirm the recruitment process for these roles.
Further updates will be made when we have more information. We expect the recruitment process to start towards the end of June and continue through to December 2017.
As part of the transfer of rural personnel to Fire and Emergency New Zealand, Territorial Authority (TA) employees working partly on fire duties who did not meet the definition to transfer, were invited to submit an ‘Expression of Interest’ (EoI) for vacancies in their district. Vacancies in areas where there were no partly-fire TA employees went straight out to wider advertising.
The EoI process has now been completed and five appointments have been confirmed.
The interviewing process for seven PRFO vacancies is underway, and we’re at various stages of shortlisting, interviewing and making offers for the 11 DPRFO vacancies.
Additionally recruitment is underway for three Business Services Coordinators, and five new Rural Business Services Managers. This week advertising began for two Rural Management Advisors and a PRFO for North Canterbury.
From 1 July, approximately 63 Rural Fire Authority employees will join Fire and Emergency New Zealand. There will also be a number of additional roles supporting rural fire services.
The new rural organisational structures are arranged in similar geographical areas as the current urban fire boundaries. You can check these out at fenzproject.co.nz in the “Leaders resources” section of the “Tool kit”.
The majority of additional roles for rural will either be in volunteer support or will provide services previously available from a territorial authority or Enlarged Rural Fire District. Additionally, rural has five new Regional Managers Rural, who look after rural fire services, and are part of the Operational Leadership Team.
Local Government arrangements
The Project team is working closely with the 50 Territorial Authorities (TAs) who currently have responsibility for fire services, to transition these to Fire and Emergency New Zealand.
Due to the scale of the amalgamation, not all the rural fire services and support provided by TAs will be transferred on 1 July 2017 so transitional agreements with local government are being developed.
These documents cover, for example, the continued use of office space and equipment for rural fire personnel, and access to personnel who have specific expertise, such as fire investigators and aircraft managers, as and when needed.
The Project team is also liaising with local government on the use of fire response assets and fire permitting.
Local government representatives met in Wellington late last month for an update on the project’s progress, and discussion about their role.
The response from local government has been encouraging and supportive. Each TA organises its rural fire services in a different way so we are working one-on-one with them to ensure the transition is as smooth possible. Resources for local government are available on fenzproject.co.nz under “Tool kit”.
Authorised person is a term used in our new legislation to assign functions, duties and powers to personnel. Officers and firefighters get their powers to fight fires and deal with other incident emergency types by being authorised persons.
We are working on a process to get fire fighters and operational officers authorised before 1 July so that they can respond to fires and other emergencies. We started sending authorisation documentation to stations/brigades/fire forces on 8 June and all of those should be received by 23 June.
There have been a number of questions from other roles in the field (including Operational Support, Training Officers and Volunteer Support Officers) about whether they will become an “authorised person”. We are discussing with Fire Region Managers whether other personnel should be authorised, and, if so, which ones. Depending on the outcome of these discussions we would aim to have any appropriate personnel authorised by 1 July, or soon after.
Please note that not being an “authorised person” does not prevent people (such as Operational Support, Training Officers and VSOs) from doing things at emergencies when directed to do so by an authorised person (such as an incident controller).
New dispute processes
One of the initiatives to support volunteers involves the introduction on 1 July of two new dispute resolution processes – the Volunteer Issues Process and the Interim Dispute Resolution Process.
Volunteer Issues Process
The Volunteer Issues Process will enable volunteers to raise issues of concern in a timely and simple way. The aim of the process is to manage issues as early and as locally as possible, and in a way that respects the contribution of volunteers, recognises that they operate as part of a community and aims to help relationships be as good as they can be.
Interim Dispute Resolution Process
The Interim Dispute Resolution Process (IDRP) is available for any matter raised under the Fire and Emergency Act, including by the general public or community.
It is a formal process and it is envisaged that most volunteer issues will be managed at the Volunteer Issues Process level by the CFO or Controller. Volunteers may apply to have the issue reviewed through the Interim Dispute Resolution Process.
Both processes will be based on the principles of accessibility, independence, fairness, accountability, efficiency and effectiveness.
Further information on these two processes will be available from 1 July on the volunteer pages of the Fire and Emergency New Zealand intranet.
Change Support network established
A network of Change Support people has been established to assist Leaders and operational personnel with sharing key information about the transition to Fire and Emergency New Zealand and to provide continuing support through the integration phase (post Day One).
Change support people will be another key point of contact for personnel seeking information or wanting to share any thoughts or concerns about the transition. Their role is to provide support for their colleagues and advice for Leaders and the Transition/Integration Project on how we can better support our people through change.
The network consists of 85 members of areas/brigades/stations/teams nationwide, across both rural and urban.
A list of names for the Change Support people in your region can be found under the FAQ section of fenzproject.co.nz
We encourage you to speak with your leader or your Change Support person if you have any questions, issues or concerns about the transition.
Nominated delegates from the United Fire Brigades’ Association, Forest and Rural Firefighters Association NZ, the NZ Professional Firefighters Union and the Public Service Association are also part of the Change Support network.
Transition letters update
Over the next few weeks New Zealand Fire Service volunteers will receive their letter and Volunteer Engagement document. These were sent out to regional offices from the end of May. Please remember there is no requirement for any urban volunteer to sign their letter or Volunteer Engagement document because there is no change to the terms and conditions of engagement or employment – there is just a change to the name of the organisation you are engaged by.
If you haven’t received these documents already, please talk to your Chief Fire Officer.
Rural volunteers should have received their Volunteer Engagement Document. Please remember to sign and return it if you haven’t already. This is slightly different to the process for urban volunteers because of the wide variety of ways in which rural volunteers are currently engaged.
The distribution of transition letters for New Zealand Fire Service and National Rural Fire Authority employees began on Wednesday 7 June. Fire Region Managers will distribute the letters for their direct reports, and Area Managers will distribute the letter for their operational employees. NHQ employees will receive their letter from their line manager, except where otherwise instructed.
If you haven’t received your transition letter, please contact your manager.
Dedicated Transition Helpdesk
A dedicated Transition Helpdesk is being established to support you through the transition.
From 1 July 2017, you can call 0800 232 015 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you may have about HR, pay, fleet management, property, safety, health & wellbeing.
A team of subject management specialists will be available to answer your questions. If they can’t answer you then and there, they will find someone who can, and get back to you as soon as possible.
Help available for ICT
If you need any help with a phone, pager, computer, radio, or printer, from 1 July 2017 onwards, contact the ICT Helpdesk on 0800 374 843.
· For all computer, passwords, or Motorola ICG Radios queries – press 1
· For SMS, SMART and MPAD queries – press 2
· For operational comms questions, including HAZMAT commands – press 3.
This is the same phone number as currently used for the NZFS ICT Helpdesk.
Essential skills and knowledge update
We are well underway with the delivery of our essential skills and knowledge for Day One training. Check out our learning calendar at fenzproject.co.nz under “Day One” for upcoming events, which include a mix of targeted face-to-face training, online self-paced learning, lunchbox presentations, and telephone and video conferences. We have already got positive comments from some of the events held so far:
“Excellent work which will be useful going forward for us as the first key leadership group.”
David Stackhouse, Area Commander (about the regular teleconferences).
“Just to let you know that the pilot course received rave reviews from our FRMO that attended. Well documented, good prep modules, and easy to follow.”
Neil Cameron, Principal Advisor Fire Risk Management (about the Inspector Training session).
If anyone is required to attend a workshop or face-to-face training, they will be contacted directly or through their manager. If you have questions about this please let us know through email@example.com
Using our new brand
An important part of the new brand rollout is the development and supply of templates we can all use, such as PowerPoint and letterhead. The design team has been very busy ensuring we have these ready for Day One.
The new Fire and Emergency New Zealand templates for Day One will include:
You will be able to download these from our new intranet from 1 July.
Also available for order through Landau Print will be business cards and with compliments slips, which your business services team will be able to get using your normal stationary ordering process.
This is just the start of the new Fire and Emergency New Zealand brand rollout. There is more coming and we will continue to keep you, and the relevant suppliers, up to date with the changes.
Questions and Answers
Why does the Transition Project’s work often focus on volunteers and rural fire services?
The volunteer support initiatives, and the investment in rural fire services, are a direct response to the findings of the Fire Services Review. Strengthening support for volunteers is written in the legislation setting up Fire and Emergency New Zealand, and we must, by law, make it happen.
The Fire Services Review has resulted in new money being given to Fire and Emergency New Zealand to address under-investment in some areas. This is because in many cases the standards for rural and in volunteer support are variable and we need consistent approaches and standards.
It’s also important to understand we are not cutting into existing budgets to fund new initiatives or roles for volunteers or rural – we are using additional money provided by the Government to do this work.
The role of career firefighters is, and will remain, an essential part of Fire and Emergency New Zealand. Fire and Emergency New Zealand and the public will continue to rely on the strengths and expertise of career firefighters. It’s our intent to build on this.
It will take time to increase understanding and build relationships between urban and rural, and volunteer and career firefighters. We’re only at the start, but the intent is all our personnel are treated fairly and with respect.
What will the benefits of Fire and Emergency NZ be for career firefighters?
Overall, there’s up to $191 million in new funding over four years, which will help build Fire and Emergency New Zealand. In the first year of Fire and Emergency New Zealand we will be developing the target operating model for the new organisation. This will review how we go about our business across every aspect, from strategy and processes to people and capabilities, and includes our culture.
It includes addressing our urban and rural boundaries, management structures, and our approach to command and control. It’s from this work that investment decisions (from new and existing money) will be targeted to other areas of the wider organisation. To find out more about additional training, new job opportunities and improvements to our systems and IT, go to the FAQs at fenzproject.co.nz/faq
What is my new login and password?
From 1 July, all Fire and Emergency New Zealand personnel will have a new username in the IT system. The format will be: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have previously been using the system, for example as an NZFS employee, you will need to enter your new username and then your existing password.
If you are new to the system, you will get a password provided to you before 1 July. You will be able to change this password after you have logged in for the first time.
What is my email address from 1 July?
Note that there is no ‘.org’ or ‘.co’ in the email address.
How do I get funding for my Day One event?
Event funding will be deposited into existing urban brigade social club or grant bank accounts. For VRFFs, efforts are being made to set up VRFF grant bank accounts to distribute funding. However, if these are not available in time, the Principal Rural Fire Officer (PRFO) will be authorised to purchase on the VRFF’s behalf (within agreed funding limits).