Our 3-Step Escape Plan

  • First Escape Route
  • Second Escape Route
  • Meeting Place

Use this space to note any additional information about your escape plan, i.e. who will assist

Your checklist
  • Get low

    Smoke is poisonous and more deadly than flames.

    If you breathe smoke for more than a few breaths it can kill you.

  • Be fast

    A house fire can kill you in less than three minutes.

    Don't spend time trying to save possessions.

  • Close doors

    A closed door buys you time.

    It slows down the spread of fire, giving you more time to get to safety.

  • Get out - stay out!

    People have died by going back into a fire.

    Don't leave the meeting place to go back inside for any reason.

Employers of volunteers. Their stories.


Fonterra supporting our volunteers

Fonterra is one of the largest employers for Fire and Emergency with 120 volunteers across the country. Fonterra Edgecumbe Site Operations Manager Allan Muggeridge says “One of the ways we support our volunteers is by enabling them to be called away on moments’ notice. They don’t have to think about work when they leave because they know their workmates will cover their work for them and support them when they return. The Proud Employer Programme allows us to role model and show to the rest of the community that volunteering doesn’t have to exclude people from their regular job, it’s actually a great enhancement for the workplace having people with those skills and capabilities.”


Tara Johnson – Featherston School Te Kura o Paetūmokai

When there’s an emergency in Featherston, the siren isn’t the only sound that alerts locals. If they’re close enough, they can also hear the chorus of cheers coming from Featherston School Te Kura o Paetūmokai. The cheers are for office administrator Tara Johnson, who alongside her work in the school office is also a volunteer firefighter.

But every time Tara leaves during the school day, there’s a juggle behind the scenes to make sure her work is covered. Principal Gina Smith says it’s a small price to pay to support an essential service that gives so much to locals. “It’s actually easy, if I’m in the office, I take over and do her job. If I’m teaching in the classroom, we sometimes need to close the office for a while. Everyone understands.”

Gina says there are also distinct advantages for school. Tara’s training with Fire and Emergency means the school has a highly qualified first-aider on staff, who takes control whenever a child is injured. Tara is also an amazing role model for the girls. They see how hard Tara works, both at school and as a firefighter. She shows them they can do anything.


Shaun Barron – Electrix

Electrix is a field service provider for Vector, covering the wider Auckland area on its natural gas network, and employs Greenhithe Volunteer Fire Brigade’s volunteer firefighter Shaun Barron. Business Unit Manager Stuart Price says the company aims to support employees who are making positive contributions to the community.

“Electrix is known as a supporter of people who do good things. It is part of us giving back to the community we live and work in,” he says. 

While Shaun tends to be mostly on call outside his rostered shifts, Stuart says the company is happy to make arrangements for others to cover his work if he is needed urgently. Electrix supports him by not just giving him the flexibility he needs but by offering the company’s resources to help facilitate the brigade’s trainings.

Stuart says it is rewarding to see the skills employees like Shaun gain as part of their Fire and Emergency volunteer work, and there are advantages for the companies who employ them.

“You see them grow as a person and learn a lot about themselves, and how to interact with the public.  People who are prepared to give up their time in this way are highly valued members of the community.”

Miles Shelley – Hauraki Plains Motors

Miles Shelley and his son Adam are both volunteers for the Ngatea Volunteer Fire Brigade and work at the family owned business Hauraki Plains Motors Ltd.

Hauraki Plains Motors has always had volunteers on staff. “At one stage there were five workers involved says Miles wife and co-owner, Diane. 

“We think helping the community is an important part of owning a business, especially in a small town like this.”

That doesn’t mean there aren’t a few challenges if both Miles and Adam are called away at the same time and people are expecting to pick up completed jobs.

“When they both disappear at once, it can be chaos, but we work around it and it doesn’t happen often,” Diane says.

Because the Ngatea volunteer fire brigade frequently attends incidents on the Hauraki Plains, it’s not unusual for volunteers to need to respond in the middle of the night and be up for several hours before starting work the next day. “We make sure they have plenty of coffee and some lighter duties on those days,” says Diane. “We look after them.”

Fiona Bryan – Empowerment Trust

When Fiona Bryan’s children were young, they knew exactly what to do when they heard the fire siren go – grab their mum’s boots and keys and put them by the door so she could rush off to the emergency. Fiona has been a volunteer for the Upper Moutere Volunteer Fire Brigade since 2012. She joined to give something back to the close-knit community, she’s so proud to be part of.

“In small communities everyone gets together to help each other out. I also wanted to be a role model for my kids, I wanted them to see me doing something that was a little bit different,” she says.

She also depends on her co-workers at the Empowerment Trust, where she is the National Executive Director.

“I wouldn’t be able to do it if the organisation didn’t support me, because you never know when you are going to get that call, and you don’t know how long you’ll be gone for.”

In many ways, Fiona feels her role with Fire and Emergency has helped her in the work she does for the trust.

“Fire and Emergency’s intensive training programmes really push me outside my comfort zone. I think when you lead an organisation you need to be able to transfer that to what you do every day.

Colin Thomson – Building and Fire Services

Building and Fire Services Managing Director Mike Lindsay says giving staff members time off during working hours to respond to emergencies is something the company has been happy to do for the past 10 years. They currently employ Kamo Volunteer Fire Brigade Chief Fire Officer Colin Thomson and see advantages for the business, the community, and Fire and Emergency New Zealand.

“Employing volunteers is something we do to help the community and the knowledge they bring on board here is good for us,” says Mike.

In practical terms, Mike says communication is key to being prepared for a staff member to leave for an emergency at a moment’s notice.

“We work in with Colin as much as we can to give him the time, he needs to attend calls. He is good at communicating and if he is going to disappear, he tries to give me an idea of the duration and lets me know if there is anything I need to take over. It has got to be a two-way street. As employers, we give time and support, and Colin and his brigade have been really great with giving us recognition and knowledge in return.”


Steve Gee and Jono Turnbull – Connetics

Steve Gee and Jono Turnbull are volunteer firefighters who both work at Connetics (Southern) Ltd in Cromwell, a network contractor that specialises in power installations and maintenance.

They’re with different brigades - Steve is Chief Fire Officer for Clyde and Jono is a recruit for Cromwell - and have very different roles within the business but both agree that having a co-worker who understands their dual roles is critical.

They’re grateful to work for a company that understands the importance of their role and values their commitment to the community.

“The company is very supportive of the community input that Jono has in Cromwell and I have in Clyde,” says Steve.

Jono volunteered for mountain rescue in the UK and was keen to continuing volunteering in some capacity when he moved to New Zealand. He was thrilled to be accepted as a recruit with the Cromwell Brigade.

“It’s a fantastic thing to be involved in,” he says.

Ken Keenan, self-employed sheep farmer of Southland

Ken Keenan and his family have run a sheep farm in Southland near the Glencoe Highway for more than 33 years, with Ken having helped establish local brigade Hedgehope Volunteer Fire Brigade 25 years ago.

Being self-employed means Ken can respond to incidents during work-hours and go on overseas deployments. Ken strongly believes in supporting his community. As Brigade Controller of his local brigade, he leads a team of more than 20 volunteers, who he has enjoyed seeing develop in skills and confidence.

Ken’s been to Australia eight times to help fight wildfires, twice during last year’s unprecedented fire season. But this is only possible thanks to the support of his wife Marie. She looks after their farm, and according to Ken runs a pretty good ship when he’s responding to a local incident or further abroad.




Russ and Pete of Marsh's Honey, Ettrick

Together they run Marsh’s Honey – an award-winning artisan honey business, which was established by Russ’s family in 1934 and is based on the banks of the Clutha River in Ettrick, Central Otago.Russ Marsh and his wife Trudie of Marsh’s Honey are third-generation New Zealand beekeepers.

Happy for Pete to leave during the day to respond to incidents, Russ and Trudie pay Pete for the time he misses and give him the flexibility to start later in the day if he’s been out at an incident all night. Their employee Pete Dacy (a beekeeper), volunteers with Millers Flat and Lawrence Volunteer Fire Brigades. He gets what he calls “a real buzz” from volunteering and has Russ and Trudie’s full support to respond to local incidents.    

''As in all small rural communities, we are reliant on various volunteer commitments to make things happen. We help support Pete’s volunteering to help save lives and support locals when property and livelihoods may be at risk. To us that's way more important than sticking to our day-to-day work routine’’, says Russ.