85% of the New Zealand’s frontline firefighters are volunteers who can be found in every NZ Community, whether remote,
rural, provincial or metropolitan. At the heart of volunteerism, is a person who willingly gives of their time to serve
and protect their community. New Zealand has over 11,500 volunteer firefighters who respond to emergencies across 95% of
The number of medical call outs has increased since the former New Zealand Fire Service agreed to further support St
John in 2014, to a point where the number of medical call outs each year (14,969), now exceeds the number of structure
and vegetation fires (9,898). Volunteer firefighters respond to over half of all medical call-outs. Most brigades
co-respond with an ambulance service, however some volunteer fire brigades are also First Response Units (FRU) - meaning
they are the only medical emergency service provider in their community. These FRUs are trained to an Emergency Medical
Technician (EMT) standard.
The United Fire Brigades Association acknowledges the psychological impact that exposure to these types of emergencies
can have on brigades and individuals, we are a strong advocate for an accessible and holistic approach to mental
wellbeing support and encourage the use of the FENZ provided support services available to all firefighters.
The UFBA proudly celebrates Aotearoa New Zealand as a volunteering nation and the important work carried out by
volunteer firefighters for their community is held in high regard.
The United Fire Brigades’ Association is the largest representative organisation of firefighters in New Zealand and has
been supporting fire brigades for 144 years.
The annual economic value to New Zealand Tax Payers of Volunteer firefighters, as determined in an independent report
commissioned by the UFBA, is $659 million.
A 20-year analysis of all Response trends for Fire and Emergency New Zealand’s volunteer brigades(1999-2019)
- Vegetation fires, 68% volunteer;
- Road crash, 63% volunteer;
- Medical response, 55% volunteer;
- Rescue calls, 49% volunteer;
- Structure fires, 47% volunteer;
- False alarms, 28% volunteer.
We welcome calls from the media to speak on camera on this and all other fire and emergency related matters. The UFBA
spokesperson for this Press Release is UFBA Board Chair, Hon. Peter Dunne, and he is available for comment on 021 569
Hon. Peter Dunne was the former Department of Internal Affairs Minister responsible for Fire and Emergency NZ, and the
former Minister for Ambulance services.