Following the New Zealand Fire Service review of its operational response to the February earthquake in Christchurch, it is now in the early stages of an additional internal review to examine some management aspects in more detail.
Chief Executive and National Commander Paul Baxter said the operational review found that the national deployment and response went extremely well and that many front line staff put their lives at risk to save the lives of others. The review was carried out within a few months of the earthquake in the knowledge that another similar national disaster could take place at any time.
" Like any organisation, we are always keen to do better . Our operational review found several areas that could be strengthened for the future. None of these affected the Fire Service response to the needs of the public. They were related largely to administration, clarity of roles and leadership, and some procedures that were overlooked in the extreme pressure of the early emergency response," he said.
Since the report was released last August, some Christchurch staff have questioned aspects of the management of the early response. The purpose of this second review is to provide independent assurance to me as the new Chief Executive and National Commander, that last year's inquiry identified all opportunities for improvement, said Mr Baxter.
The specific objectives are to ensure that:
- all matters were sufficiently investigated to ensure that all opportunities for improvement were identified in the operational review;
- the response actions taken by Christchurch-based executive officers in the first 12 hours following the quake were appropriate and what would be expected in an event of this scale;
- issues and concerns raised by Christchurch staff who responded in the first 12 hours following the quake have been sufficiently considered in the review;
- appropriate de-briefing has now occurred or that there are steps in place to ensure it does now occur
An independent person is being sought to lead the review and an appointment is expected to be announced shortly.
Contact: National Media Advisor Karlum Lattimore 0275918837