Benefits of employing a volunteer

Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Benefits of employing a volunteer

About 80% of operational firefighters in New Zealand are volunteers. In fact, most fire brigades are entirely reliant on volunteers.

Volunteers also fill important non-operational roles, helping ensure we can respond quickly when there's an emergency. When you employ a volunteer, you're supporting your community and helping protect it in times of emergency.

Employing a volunteer requires some sacrifice. You need to be willing to support that volunteer. Ideally, you'd allow them to leave the workplace quickly in the event of an emergency, but we realise this may not always be practicable or possible.

We encourage employers either to negotiate an agreement in advance as to when their employees can leave the workplace, or develop an emergency service volunteer absence policy.

Fortunately, there are also many benefits to employing Fire and Emergency New Zealand volunteers:

Employee training and upskilling

  • Being a volunteer firefighter builds moral, loyalty, productivity, teamwork and problem solving skills that can transfer to other aspects of a volunteer’s life, including their job and workplace.
  • We're committed to developing, mentoring and upskilling volunteers. We provide them with specialist skills, specialist training, leadership development and experience gained from real situations.
  • The volunteer employee will receive exposure to community demographics, needs and issues that may assist with product or service enhancement or development.
  • The volunteer employee will have current First Aid skills and be trained in emergency management and fire risk assessment. This will help you in your workplace health and safety efforts.

Improved public perception

  • Employing volunteers gives your business an enhanced public reputation. You can demonstrate your commitment to building a safer, stronger community.
  • We offer an Employer Recognition Programme that allows you to take advantage of the benefits of employing a volunteer. This programme can help you attract customers, clients and business partners who trust the Fire and Emergency New Zealand brand.
  • You can improve employee recruitment and retention by supporting those employees who are or are intending to become volunteers.