Fire and Emergency New Zealand Bulletin – 31/5/17

Welcome to the 4th issue of the Fire and Emergency New Zealand Bulletin. Since our last issue, the Bill received Royal Assent, the five Regional Managers Rural have been announced for the new organisation, and Day One preparation sessions have begun in the lead up to 1 July. Find out more in this issue.

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 myvoice@fenzproject.co.nz

 

Training Approach
Operational readiness is the focus for any training and learning needs up to Day One. If there are any changes to functions and powers for operational staff, then they will have received training on these changes before 30th of June. Training will include:

· FENZ Inspector Role and Powers
· Overview of the Fire and Emergency NZ Act
· Changed systems and processes
· Interim dispute resolution approach
· Command and control policy

This is only a selection of what’s coming. Please go to fenzproject.co.nz where you will be able to find a copy of the draft learning calendar, to be finalised shortly.
 
RMRs Appointed
Congratulations to the newly-appointed Regional Managers Rural:
· Bryan Cartelle (Region 1)
· John Sutton (Region 2)
· Gary Lockyer (Region 3)
· Richard McNamara (Region 4)
· Mike Grant (Region 5)

Read more on the website


Proud History, Bright Future – Day One events
Fire and Emergency New Zealand ‘Day One’ on 1 July 2017 is shaping up to be a fun day, with events being planned in a number of places including Upper Hutt, Hawera, Gisborne and Manawatu as well as the national Ministerial event in Ashburton. 

To mark the amalgamation of the New Zealand Fire Service, National Rural Fire Authority and Rural Fire Authorities into Fire and Emergency New Zealand, we are supporting events to honour our proud history, thank our people for the great work they do, and look forward to a bright future. 

Funding will be provided to contribute to the cost of events where our stations, brigades and Voluntary Rural Fire Forces want to mark the day with the communities they serve. Funding will be allocated according to a formula based on the number of firefighters per station/brigade/VRFF, at $15 per head.

For other locations such as National and Regional Headquarters there will also be an event, such as a morning tea, to acknowledge and thank our people.

Event funding will be deposited into existing urban brigade social club/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).

Unfortunately there isn’t time or resources to produce flags or banners for Day One events, but there will be posters showcasing the new identity.

Every location will get copies of these as part of your Day One toolkit (see next item).

If you are wanting resources to hand out to children at Day One events, there are fire safety stickers and temporary tattoos available, that don’t have either the current or the new branding on them. These can be ordered through the online ordering (OLO) system. These stickers and temporary tattoos can be found using order codes FS1726 and FS1713.

Access to the online ordering system is available to:
· executive and station officers
· key regional promotions and fire risk management personnel
· Volunteer Support Officers and Chief Fire Officers.
If you require access to OLO or want to enquire about promotional resources, please contact: Online.Ordering@fire.org.nz.

Day One toolkit
In mid-June a Day One toolkit will be delivered to all of our stations, brigades and Voluntary Rural Fire Forces and other offices and premises. This will contain:
· Plaque commemorating the amalgamation into Fire and Emergency New Zealand
· Welcome message from the Chair and a publication about Fire and Emergency New Zealand
· video message from the new Chief Executive, Rhys Jones, alongside the NCU Paul McGill and NMR Kevin O’Connor
· quick reference guides to help you find any information you need
· posters and postcard showcasing the new identity

Day One Preparation Sessions
Across the country personnel have been gathering to hear from their leaders at the Day One Preparation Briefings. Already, about 150 briefings have been held.  The briefings provide a lot of information across a number of important topics, including command and control, inspector powers, safety, health and wellbeing, and volunteer support.

One of the most-discussed topics at the briefings has been command and control. You can hear the Deputy National Commander Kerry Gregory, Chair of the PRFOs group Mike Grant and union and association representatives explaining their perspective on Command and Control for Day One here.

There are also videos on other topics on the Transition website , along with factsheets and frequently asked questions. If you still have questions, please get in touch through myvoice@fenzproject.co.nz

At National Headquarters, briefings for personnel will be held on Friday 9 June and Thursday 15 June. Keep an eye out for your invitation.

Leaders are reminded there is a teleconference every Friday providing updates, and this week the topic is budgets. Email engagement@fenzproject.co.nz for teleconference details.

Update on Identity
Now that the new logo has been signed off, you will gradually start to see it appearing around the place.
Some online materials such as training resources for Fire and Emergency New Zealand will appear in June with the new logo.

By 1 July, it will be on the new website and intranet, and you’ll get tools such as email signatures and letterhead templates. The new URL is fireandemergency.nz.

However, as we’ve always said, we won’t be able to roll out the new identity everywhere by Day One. Planning is getting underway for the medium-term rollout across new vehicles, uniform and premises, with detailed schedules and budgets to be finalised.

We do want to make sure the identity is highly visible at the Ministerial Day One event in Ashburton, and on the shoulder of senior leadership uniforms across the country.

It’s been tricky finding the right balance between showcasing the new identity and managing delivery times and costs. The Leadership Team have decided it’s worth investing a small amount to get some early visibility, ahead of the full rollout.

In Ashburton, you’ll see four vehicles showcasing the new identity – a Type 2 fire truck, a rural tanker and two utes.

You’ll also see leadership and our hosts – Ashburton rural and urban volunteers – wearing shirts with the new identity on the shoulder patches – blue shirts for urban, and grey for mid-south Canterbury rural.

The grey shirts are the colour that mid-south Canterbury rural staff currently wear. It’s important to be clear that these are a one-off, for the Day One event. They are not being made available elsewhere and are not a new national uniform item.

Blue uniform shirts with the new logo will be available to all urban staff later – we have rushed through a small initial order to get some in time for Day One.

You’ll also see Board members and Organisational Leadership Team (OLT) members in black windbreakers, similar to the ones OLT currently wear. Again, these are a one-off and not a new uniform item.
Beyond Ashburton, across the country, the National Commander Urban and National Manager Rural have decided that senior leaders should wear the new identity on uniforms from 1 July, as they are engaging with partners in the wider emergency sector.

The new logo will appear on current uniforms over time, but keep in mind that there will be a review of uniforms during the integration phase (the next 3 years).

Frequently Asked Questions
 
Q. I’ve heard that when career staff transfer to Fire and Emergency New Zealand, we will be new employees and subject to a 90 day trial or probationary period. Is this correct?
A. No. Career staff who transfer from New Zealand Fire Service on 1 July will not be regarded as new employees.  All career staff will be transitioning on the same terms and conditions with length of service counted from when people started with New Zealand Fire Service.  Nobody will be subject to a 90 day trial or a probationary period. The only change for career staff will be a change in the name of employer to Fire and Emergency New Zealand.
 
Q. How do I refer to the new organisation after 1 July?
A. The new organisation’s formal name is Fire and Emergency New Zealand, as set out in the Fire and Emergency New Zealand Act. This is how we should refer to it in writing in any formal documents (although in a longer document such as a report, if we’re using the name frequently,  we can abbreviate to FENZ, after the first reference). When we’re talking about our organisation, we suggest people can choose to drop “New Zealand” and say  “Fire and Emergency” in the same way people say “Police” rather than “New Zealand Police”.
We are discouraging people from saying “FENZ” when they are talking, because it doesn’t convey the same meaning as “Fire and Emergency”. The only place where the “and” is absent is in the logo. Here, the words are just one part of the visual identity of our organisation which together with recognised symbols are intended to help people identify us at a glance.

Volunteer Year One Package
In the first year of Fire and Emergency New Zealand, a range of initiatives to support volunteers will get underway. These initiatives aim to support and sustain our volunteer workforce to enable them to better serve the communities they work in These initiatives are being funded from new money; we are not reducing any existing budgets.  These are a starting point that we will build on over time. These include:

Additional Funding
There will be funding for:
· Additional leadership development courses and coaching and mentoring for volunteer leaders
· Increased resources for brigades who want to recruit support volunteers (non-operational) for administration tasks
 
New roles
There will be many new ‘full-time equivalent’ roles for additional training, development, in-field support and
co-ordinator roles will be filled during the first year of Fire and Emergency New Zealand to support urban volunteer brigades and voluntary rural fire forces. These new roles will also provide opportunities for development and progression for career fire fighters. These are:
· 8 (of up to 15) x additional Volunteer Support Officers to increase provision of support to volunteers in key Areas (Urban)
· 5 x support roles to ensure provision of support in rural areas, and to help close gaps in the new organisational structure (Rural)
· 12 x additional Capability Trainers to help improve Brigade operational response capability and sustainability (Urban)
· 5 x Regional Training Coordinators to be integrated into regional training teams to help reduce training administration, and to ensure the right training support is in place (Rural)
· 2 x Volunteer Development Managers, as a pilot, to help build leadership, team and support capability, including understanding of volunteer development needs (Rural and Urban)
· 1 x new trainer to deliver an additional 10 ‘brigade training officer’ training courses, adapted to the rural environment (Rural)
· 1 x Recruitment Coordinator (Rural), 1 x recruitment administrator, and 1 x fixed term recruitment support assistant within the Volunteer Resilience Team (Rural and Urban)
· 1 x fixed term business analyst, and 2 x fixed term process redesign specialists to help ease administrative burden (Rural and Urban)
· 10 full time equivalents across two Regions to ‘pilot’ new ways of delivering support to volunteers (Rural and Urban)
· 10 x additional Safety, Health and Wellbeing Coordinators to provide advice to leaders and assist with meeting compliance requirements (Rural, Urban). These roles will also provide support for career fire fighters.
· 2 x volunteer data coordinators and 1 x business analyst to maintain volunteer data, including for facilitation of communications direct with all volunteers (Rural and Urban)
We will let you know when we start recruiting for these roles.
 
Volunteer support pilots
There are four new ideas to be piloted and used to inform the development of future initiatives for volunteer support. These include:
· 2 x new Volunteer Development Manager positions to work with Brigades and Fire Forces with a focus on learning and development.
· Additional funding to provide financial management training and support to volunteer brigades and voluntary rural fire forces
· A pilot in a number of regions to determine how additional funding could be used in new ways to best support local volunteer needs.
· Using online technology and innovation laboratories to source ideas from volunteers on how to improve support to volunteers.

Volunteers will also have access to Advocacy and Support services, as well as a Volunteer Issues and Interim Dispute Resolution Process, and health and wellness initiatives (such as psychological support, vaccination programme, and health monitoring). For more information and the timeframe for rollout download the factsheet at fenzproject.co.nz/fact-sheets
 
Rural Volunteer Engagement Document
By now all rural volunteers should have received a Volunteer Engagement document, which sets out volunteers’ terms of engagement with Fire and Emergency New Zealand, and the organisation’s commitments to volunteers.
Rural volunteers need to sign the document so that their transfer to Fire and Emergency New Zealand is legally recognised and they can become an authorised person. It also allows us to ensure that the arrangements under which they are currently engaged as volunteers are retained. We have asked that the document is signed within seven days of receipt to ensure that everyone is legally transferred by 1 July.
If anyone needs an extension to this deadline, please contact Karen Keeley or Bridget McBean from the Day One Transition Team (karen.keeley@fenzproject.co.nz or bridget.mcbean@fenzproject.co.nz).



Transition letters for NZFS employees and volunteers and NRFA employees
Due to the sheer volume of letters going out, there will be a phased approach to the distribution of transition letters for New Zealand Fire Service employees and volunteers and National Rural Fire Authority employees to Fire and Emergency New Zealand.

A transition letter and Volunteer Engagement document will be distributed to NZFS volunteers, via your Chief Fire Officer, from Wednesday 31 May.  

Transition letters for New Zealand Fire Service and National Rural Fire Authority employees will be distributed from Wednesday 7 June. Fire Region Managers will distribute the letters for their direct reports, and Area Managers are being asked to distribute the letter packs for their operational employees. NHQ employees will receive their letter from their line manager, except where otherwise instructed.

There will be no requirement for anyone 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 employed or engaged by.

The service start date in your letter is what has been provided from the PSE system. We recognise that, in some instances, there will be personnel who have multiple service periods. We would like to assure you that all service periods will continue to be recognised and your service will be continuous.

SMS Training and Changes
From 1 July 2017, all incidents should be entered into the Station Management System (SMS).
Don’t worry if you’ve never used SMS before – processes will be set up to ensure your incident data is put into SMS. For Rural personnel, this is likely to involve your Business Services people helping you, including entering data if required.

To make SMS’s Incident Reporting module easier to use, the system has been given a ‘new face’ and updated features. All other parts of SMS remain the same.

The key changes to the Incident Reporting module are:
· A new ‘look and feel’ to make the system more intuitive to use
· Incident types have been reduced from 99 to 27
· A vegetation incident reporting module has been added.
 
Training
Training for the SMS Incident Module will be available from the last week of June 2017.
New SMS users will be offered a range of learning options which include quick reference guides, face to face training and an online e-learning module. The business support team for Rural, as well as other staff nominated in the Rural teams, will be trained to support input of data into SMS. This training will be provided as close as possible to 1 July in forums that are already scheduled, e.g. the PRFO and DPRFO meeting on 14 June and as part of the Business Services induction in the first week of July.

No formal training is required for existing SMS users. A document will be available highlighting the changes to the Incident Reporting module, and a training ‘sandbox’ will be available for practice before 1 July.
 
Rural Data Collected
Gathering the data required to pay rural personnel and suppliers, keep people’s training and leave records up-to-date, and manage health and safety and fire permitting, has been underway since the end of April. A specialist data migration team from the transition project has been visiting up to ten rural fire authorities a week in order to extract the data required.

Once this data is collected, it is then verified and passed to the technical experts in the data migration team to transform and load to the new IT systems for testing. Uploading data is run in stages. For example, supplier data is verified then loaded in batches as early as possible so that rural suppliers are in place and can be paid in a timely manner from 1 July.

Data migration team lead Sarah Boud says the collection visits are going well and are on track to finish by the end of May. The data migration team as a collective, would like to extend a huge thanks to PRFOs, and everyone they’ve spoken to so far, for their time and cooperation through the collection process.

One comment

  1. Keith Nixon

    on

    Reply

    keith.nixon@firefighters.org.nz
    Hi Paul, I been in the Fire Service 43 years as a firefighter and also as a representative in a number of positions with the NZ Firefighters Welfare Society, Associated Agencies Group, NZ firefighters Credit Union and the NZPFU plus involvement with other fire service related organisations such as UFBA etc.
    Most of these organisations have been involved over the years at introducing benefits for the betterment of all firefighters and their families that they represent. They all should be proud of the contribution they have made to make the Fire Service what is today and carry on the good work they have been doing under FENZ.

    Paul, I know that a lot of hard work has been done to make the change from NZFS to FENZ in the short time your team had, and there is a lot more work to be done over the next few years.

    I wish you, the Board and your team all the best for 1st July 2917 and to all the FENZ people be they Volunteers, Career or paid staff, embrace this new period of change (I have seen a few changes over the years) but don’t forget why you decided to become part of a great organisation.

    Keith Nixon
    Firefighter.
    Chairman NZ Firefighter Welfare Society.

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