Volunteers need your help

By Brent Cairns

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PledgeMe.Project

Community,



NZ $1,565 pledged


5 people pledged


Closed


NZ $10,000 minimum target


15 15% Complete

Pledges will only be confirmed if the target is reached by: 31/03/2015 at 9:00 PM (NZDT)

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About

Volunteers Need Your Help

Project 2015-01-30 00:17:57 +1300

Without Volunteers there wouldn’t be a Fire Service

Around 8500 volunteer firefighters are in New Zealand… over 80% of the firefighters you see at car accidents, fires, medical incidents,  natural disasters, chemical spills etc, are unpaid volunteers, helping you in their own time, time away from their work, their businesses and their families.

With that many volunteers, just like any work force there can be conflict at times…

Difference is if you are a paid firefighter you have all the resources, of a union, legislative protection…where as a volunteer you have none… unless a volunteer has the financial resources to take their battle to court… they can be bullied, treated illegally, their rights breached....

My story which we will get to later which featured in a local newspaper, I alleged that there is a bullying culture with the Fire Service. From that story, I received multiple emails, spent days on the phone fielding calls from all over New Zealand. All had similar stories, bullying, rights breached, some were still very upset even to this day, many had left the Fire Service after years of service or were bullied into leaving. (link to article)


What will the Money be used for

We plan to set up an advocacy service for volunteer firefighters when a grievance occurs, they can get independent advice, be informed about their rights, explain what options they have, we will be there to offer free advice, and we will help to provide paid legal advice.

We will start with this battle, I joined the local fire brigade 9 years ago in the aim to help the community and to get to know more people, I had practical skills and medical training.

Things started to go wrong in November 2013 when someone targeted me with false allegations, I was suspended I was denied any information as to what I had done, each request for details was refused. It took three weeks for the NZFS to finally get around to telling me what I was accused of doing, a serious misconduct investigation found no evidence, subsequently the result was no disciplinary action, despite me being initially threatened with dismissal.

I complained to the NZFS claiming my rights to natural justice had been breached, so another investigation took place where I was interviewed as a witness, little did I know that I also was under investigation.

In March 2014 the NZFS released a draft report suggesting that I be dismissed from the fire brigade, not only did they not tell me that I was being investigated, they planned to discharge me in relation to the previous investigation where I had a letter stating no disciplinary action would be taken,  in addition, proposing to discharge me using an old set of brigade rules from the 1970’s that are no longer current or in use.

I complained again and this time the NZFS employed an independent Barrister to conduct an investigation who found that the previous investigation team did not accord with the principles of natural justice and the draft findings were unlawful.
In addition, the Barrister’s report showed the NZFS had changed the Terms of Reference to the investigation without informing those involved, requesting the Barrister to investigate intemperate comments made by the Fire Region Manager, comments he made about me that were recording during a phone conversation.

The same manager appointed a paid Acting Chief Fire Officer to the volunteer Brigade, who has continued the attacks against me with most recently attempting a professional ambush, falsely claiming I didn't have permission to use a fire appliance to water fruit trees, the trees being part of the first food forest in the Waimakariri District, this was a major community event with The Mayor, some Councillors and with school children attending along with members of the public.

I have since been discharged for sending a private and confidential email to brigade members explaining how the paid Acting Chief Fire Officer attempted to set him up during that community event.

The State Services Commissioner refuses to conduct an investigation despite substantive evidence of allegations of illegal, unethical, unprofessional behaviour within the paid management of the NZFS.


The Fire Service Commission have refused to get involved due to legal implications.

I have written to the Minister Peter Dunne, however he hasn’t responded.

I have tried to resolve this issue inouse, however it appears that legal action is the only pathway to take, the time and effort and the toll that these issues and illegal actions by the NZFS have taken on me, my family and business  have been considerable. 

We don’t think anyone should be treated this way…
We want to ensure that it doesn’t happen again, we have attempted to get change but each step has been met with abject deflection.

Subsequently the PledgeMe campaign proceeds would be used to fund a Volunteer firefighter advisory service, in an attempt to stop bullying in the Fire Service.

Based on the amount of calls I received from the Press article, there a number of firefighters that have had issues that they would have benefited from assistance... if you are a volunteer or know of one that could use the firefighter advisory assistance, please send an email to [email protected]

Thank you for your support... the photo is Shirley and our dog Morgan with our KiwiBank Local Hero award 2014 medal

Comments

Updates

Hey! Thanks for checking out this project.

We haven't made any updates yet, follow us if you want to be notified when we do.

Pledgers 5

Anonymous pledger
2015-02-10 22:34:53 +1300
Ngaire Jermaine
2015-02-05 18:41:51 +1300

"No one who gives up their time for a good cause should be treated so appallingly."

Johnny Stephens
2015-02-04 20:29:07 +1300
Anonymous pledger
2015-02-04 19:12:01 +1300

"Good luck!"

Anonymous pledger
2015-02-04 19:08:50 +1300

"it is such a shame to see volunteer firefighters getting treated this way. I wish you all the best and hope you get a positive outcome."

Followers

Followers of Volunteers need your help

Volunteers Need Your Help

Project 2015-01-30 00:17:57 +1300

Without Volunteers there wouldn’t be a Fire Service

Around 8500 volunteer firefighters are in New Zealand… over 80% of the firefighters you see at car accidents, fires, medical incidents,  natural disasters, chemical spills etc, are unpaid volunteers, helping you in their own time, time away from their work, their businesses and their families.

With that many volunteers, just like any work force there can be conflict at times…

Difference is if you are a paid firefighter you have all the resources, of a union, legislative protection…where as a volunteer you have none… unless a volunteer has the financial resources to take their battle to court… they can be bullied, treated illegally, their rights breached....

My story which we will get to later which featured in a local newspaper, I alleged that there is a bullying culture with the Fire Service. From that story, I received multiple emails, spent days on the phone fielding calls from all over New Zealand. All had similar stories, bullying, rights breached, some were still very upset even to this day, many had left the Fire Service after years of service or were bullied into leaving. (link to article)


What will the Money be used for

We plan to set up an advocacy service for volunteer firefighters when a grievance occurs, they can get independent advice, be informed about their rights, explain what options they have, we will be there to offer free advice, and we will help to provide paid legal advice.

We will start with this battle, I joined the local fire brigade 9 years ago in the aim to help the community and to get to know more people, I had practical skills and medical training.

Things started to go wrong in November 2013 when someone targeted me with false allegations, I was suspended I was denied any information as to what I had done, each request for details was refused. It took three weeks for the NZFS to finally get around to telling me what I was accused of doing, a serious misconduct investigation found no evidence, subsequently the result was no disciplinary action, despite me being initially threatened with dismissal.

I complained to the NZFS claiming my rights to natural justice had been breached, so another investigation took place where I was interviewed as a witness, little did I know that I also was under investigation.

In March 2014 the NZFS released a draft report suggesting that I be dismissed from the fire brigade, not only did they not tell me that I was being investigated, they planned to discharge me in relation to the previous investigation where I had a letter stating no disciplinary action would be taken,  in addition, proposing to discharge me using an old set of brigade rules from the 1970’s that are no longer current or in use.

I complained again and this time the NZFS employed an independent Barrister to conduct an investigation who found that the previous investigation team did not accord with the principles of natural justice and the draft findings were unlawful.
In addition, the Barrister’s report showed the NZFS had changed the Terms of Reference to the investigation without informing those involved, requesting the Barrister to investigate intemperate comments made by the Fire Region Manager, comments he made about me that were recording during a phone conversation.

The same manager appointed a paid Acting Chief Fire Officer to the volunteer Brigade, who has continued the attacks against me with most recently attempting a professional ambush, falsely claiming I didn't have permission to use a fire appliance to water fruit trees, the trees being part of the first food forest in the Waimakariri District, this was a major community event with The Mayor, some Councillors and with school children attending along with members of the public.

I have since been discharged for sending a private and confidential email to brigade members explaining how the paid Acting Chief Fire Officer attempted to set him up during that community event.

The State Services Commissioner refuses to conduct an investigation despite substantive evidence of allegations of illegal, unethical, unprofessional behaviour within the paid management of the NZFS.


The Fire Service Commission have refused to get involved due to legal implications.

I have written to the Minister Peter Dunne, however he hasn’t responded.

I have tried to resolve this issue inouse, however it appears that legal action is the only pathway to take, the time and effort and the toll that these issues and illegal actions by the NZFS have taken on me, my family and business  have been considerable. 

We don’t think anyone should be treated this way…
We want to ensure that it doesn’t happen again, we have attempted to get change but each step has been met with abject deflection.

Subsequently the PledgeMe campaign proceeds would be used to fund a Volunteer firefighter advisory service, in an attempt to stop bullying in the Fire Service.

Based on the amount of calls I received from the Press article, there a number of firefighters that have had issues that they would have benefited from assistance... if you are a volunteer or know of one that could use the firefighter advisory assistance, please send an email to [email protected]

Thank you for your support... the photo is Shirley and our dog Morgan with our KiwiBank Local Hero award 2014 medal

Comments

Hey! Thanks for checking out this project.

We haven't made any updates yet, follow us if you want to be notified when we do.

Anonymous pledger
2015-02-10 22:34:53 +1300
Ngaire Jermaine
2015-02-05 18:41:51 +1300

"No one who gives up their time for a good cause should be treated so appallingly."

Johnny Stephens
2015-02-04 20:29:07 +1300
Anonymous pledger
2015-02-04 19:12:01 +1300

"Good luck!"

Anonymous pledger
2015-02-04 19:08:50 +1300

"it is such a shame to see volunteer firefighters getting treated this way. I wish you all the best and hope you get a positive outcome."

Followers of Volunteers need your help

This campaign was unsuccessful and finished on 10/02/2015 at 10:34 PM.