Benefits of employing a volunteer

Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Benefits of employing a volunteer

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

Volunteer firefighters are highly respected within their communities. Without them, there would be no local fire brigades or fire forces to respond to emergencies outside of our major population centres. That’s why the support of the individuals and companies that employ our volunteers is every bit as important as the volunteers they employ.

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 volunteers. Ideally, you'd allow them to leave the workplace quickly in the event of an emergency.

There is no obligation for you to release and/or pay your employees for any period they are absent from work on Fire and Emergency New Zealand business.

We recognise that releasing your employees may not always be practical or possible. For this reason, we would encourage you either to make an agreement in advance, or to develop an emergency service volunteer absence policy for your whole business.

You may not be able to release your employee during work hours at all, but there might be other ways you can support them in volunteering such as accommodating their training schedule or helping them manage fatigue.

What’s in it for you?

There are many benefits to employing Fire and Emergency New Zealand volunteers:

Give your business the benefit of your employee’s new skills

Your firefighter employee will bring a range of new skills to your workplace, such as fire safety, first aid and medical response, event organisation and many more.

Demonstrate that you’re a socially responsible business

Research shows an expectation among consumers that businesses will support worthy causes in the community, and consumers are more likely to buy products and services from socially responsible businesses.

Enhance your public profile

Communities have huge respect for their local fire brigade and fire force. A partnership with Fire and Emergency New Zealand can enhance your public profile by demonstrating your contribution to your community.

Increase employee loyalty and engagement

Employees have greater pride and loyalty for employers who are seen to ‘walk the talk’ and show they care. This can increase productivity and business success.

Become an employer of choice

In the competitive recruitment market, staff seek to align themselves with businesses whose values they relate to. Corporate volunteering shows staff are encouraged to give back to their community. This can even be promoted as an innovative part of an employee recognition programme alongside superannuation contributions, health insurance or benefits.

Employer Recognition Programme

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.

What’s in it for your Volunteer?

There are many benefits for your volunteer:

  • New skills such as fire safety, firefighting, first aid and medical response, specialised equipment experience, event organisation, fundraising, marketing, community and public relations skills

  • Transferable skills such as leadership and decision making, problem solving, drive, lateral thinking, ingenuity, and an ability to perform under pressure

  • Pride that comes from volunteering, which is motivating, rewarding and boosts self-esteem

  • Greater respect from co-workers

  • Opportunities to make new friendships and expand networks, which could in turn benefit your business.

What do our Employers of Volunteers have to say?