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.

New Zealand Professional Firefighters Collective Employment Agreement

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Current pay and conditions for Firefighters

The Collective Agreement between Fire and Emergency New Zealand and the NZPFU covers members who are paid firefighters and station officers, communications centre staff, and other operational roles such as trainers, volunteer support officers, and advisors who deliver community readiness and risk reduction services to communities.

Fully funded training and development

Trainee Firefighters need no previous qualifications and start with a fully funded 12-week residential course at our National Training Centre (NTC) in Rotorua. Upon successful completion, they graduate to Firefighter and are posted to a station. 

Firefighters then work through a fully funded ongoing training and development programme while on the job, including NTC delivered modules, over the next two years to achieve progression to Qualified Firefighter.

Qualified Firefighters are then expected to continue their Fire and Emergency funded training and development through to Senior Firefighter over the next two years.  Most firefighters successfully complete the on-station Fire and Emergency funded Senior Firefighter programme to achieve that rank within approximately five years at Fire and Emergency. 

Those with higher leadership aspirations can achieve Station Officer qualifications after two years at Senior Firefighter, upon successful completion of the Fire and Emergency funded Station Officer Programme. Senior Station Officer is the most senior station based operational firefighter response role.

All personnel who respond to medical calls receive specific training for first aid for trauma and medical emergency situations. All frontline firefighters are trained to perform CPR, defibrillation, manage airways, and provide oxygen therapy. They are equipped with defibrillators, airways, and oxygen therapy equipment.


The Trainee Firefighter salary of approximately $53,800 per annum reflects the commencement level of the role and the intensive investment in learning and development that takes new recruits with no firefighting experience through structured progression to Qualified Firefighter. Fire and Emergency covers all these training costs and incremental salary steps are applied following attainment of progression milestones. 

The base salary for Qualified Firefighter is currently $69,200 and for Senior Firefighter it is $76,800. Base salaries for Officers ranges from $87,500-$108,200.

All firefighters who have completed their initial 12-week training course have the opportunity to earn significantly more than their base salary by undertaking additional or specialist duties and working overtime, as described below. This is usual for nearly all firefighters. Experienced Firefighters who work regular overtime earn more than $100,000 per year.


Turnover amongst career firefighters is currently 3.6% each year.

The average length of employment for career firefighters with Fire and Emergency is 17 years.

Hours of work

We take very seriously the need to be able to respond as needed to protect New Zealand communities. Even though firefighters on average spend only about 6% of their rostered work time attending incidents, we roster our firefighters so we can respond to multiple incidents 24/7.

Hours of work for firefighters’ average 42 hours per week, before overtime, based on two-day shifts followed by two-night shifts, and four days off.   Day shifts are ten hours duration, including on station skills maintenance and duties, and work in the community as well as response to emergency events including fire, motor vehicle accident, medical response and other emergency services during natural disasters and weather events. 

Night shifts are 14 hours duration. During night shifts firefighters usually remain on station unless they are called to respond to an emergency event. They do perform some off station non-emergency tasks on occasion but are not normally required to undertake work tasks between the hours of 11pm and 7am and are able to rest and relax with bedrooms provided during this period, to maintain a state of readiness, for responding to an emergency event.


‘Call-back overtime’ is when a Firefighter is asked, and agrees, to work an entire additional shift. Overtime can also be incurred if a firefighter shift is extended while at an incident while the following shift transition happens. On those occasions it incurs a 3-hour minimum payment of overtime.  Overtime pay is at 1.5 x the Firefighter’s usual standard rate of pay which includes their base salary and any ongoing allowances they receive.

For example, if a Firefighter agrees to work an additional 10-hour day shift they will receive an additional 15 hours of their usual pay or for a 14 hour night shift, they will receive an additional 21 hours of their usual pay.

Fatigue Management

We have a Fatigue Management Policy, which sets out the obligations that all personnel (career and volunteer) and their supervisors to monitor and manage the risks of fatigue. We have clear policies and procedures in place to ensure our firefighters are looked after and continue to monitor overtime levels. This includes comprehensive and free confidential counselling support for our people and their families.


The roster cycle for fire fighters (and staff in Communications Centres) includes rostered leave of 14 consecutive days within each 160-day cycle to address fatigue and provide for rest and recreation.  After seven years total service an additional three days annual leave per annum is provided, and after 14 years total service a further four days per annum is provided in addition to that received after seven years.

Other forms of paid leave include sick leave of four weeks per year for firefighters, or more depending on length of service. Paid leave also includes three days partner leave for employees whose partners are having or adopting a baby, with a return to work payment of 30 days’ pay after parental leave for those who have assumed the primary responsibility for childcare and returned at the end of their leave. The payment is made six months after returning from parental leave as the caregiver.

Understanding that shift work can be restrictive on family life a firefighter when working an overtime shift can choose to bank up to eight shifts instead of claiming the payment, they can then use that shift as a leave shift at a later date. Firefighters also have a provision when rostered on duty to swap shifts with others off duty if this is in line with the fatigue management policy and the replacement firefighter has any necessary specialist skill sets. This provides for greater flexibility within the shift system and provides greater balance for personal requirements.

After 20 years’ service, employees receive long service leave of 28 days

Additional key benefits

All firefighters are eligible to participate in the enhanced Fire Superannuation Scheme. Employees can contribute up to six percent of their salary with their contributions matched by Fire and Emergency at $1.52 for every dollar put in by the employee.

As part of that package, firefighters have a guaranteed medical retirement payout of no less than two years pay. 

All our people, including volunteers have cover for personal injury, including death, occurring on the job or on the way to and from work. In addition, Firefighters receive a $50 per week allowance to subsidise personal insurance cover for income protection or life insurance.

Fire and Emergency’s Injury Management unit also provides specialist support for all staff to aid rehabilitation and return to work.

An annual physical competency allowance is paid to those required to undertake the Physical Competency Assessment (PCA).  The calculation for the PCA works out to be a payment of between $1,391 to $2,714 depending on the role the person is in.

Psychological wellbeing

We recognise that responding to emergencies can be psychologically demanding. That’s why Fire and Emergency provides a tiered framework of support services for our people as well as tools and training. As trauma can vary for each individual, this framework allows our people to access services based on their individual needs.

The support available includes, free counselling, professional psychological support, peer support, dedicated safety health and wellbeing advisors and welfare officers, a health monitoring programme, chaplaincy, and Tikanga Māori-based services. These support channels can be accessed through self-referral or workplace referral (through the safety, health and wellbeing team). We also offer support proactively where a specific need for support is identified i.e. when a crew has attended an incident involving someone known to them. Counselling is also available to the immediate family members of our firefighters for any reason that they may need it.  


Fire and Emergency manages and maintains one of the largest fleets of commercial vehicles in the country. The public can be assured that the Fire and Emergency fleet is safe and suitable for the job. We service our appliances on a regular schedule to ensure they well maintained. When we do so, we provide a replacement appliance.

When breakdowns occur, we take appropriate actions to fix these, including identifying underlying issues. We are also investing in the future of our fleet – including progressing procurement for aerials and the Type 3 pumping appliance next generation project.

We have around 1,240 fire trucks and specialist response vehicles across the country, responding to more than 80,000 emergencies a year.

Fire trucks are very specialised with specific requirements to enable our emergency response. We maintain the fleet to a high standard so our fire trucks are always ready to respond 24/7.

We are a 24/7 first response organisation. So, we always have contingency plans in place should a particular fire truck, of any type, be unavailable for any reason – for example attending another incident, being used for training or on scheduled or unscheduled maintenance. The nearest available truck will be sent, and our people are trained to adjust their tactics at an incident if required.

We replace older vehicles in the fleet which are at their end of life, going out to the market routinely with the aim of getting the best outcomes for our fleet.

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Pay and conditions for other positions covered by the PFU collective agreement

National Communications Centre staff

National Communications Centre staff answer emergency phone calls, interpret the information received, and dispatch crews to attend incidents from three centres in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.  They benefit from a structured progression framework that takes them from an entry level Grade 1 Communicator position with opportunities to progress through to Shift Manager.

Hours of work in the Communications Centres are two days and two nights on, then four days off. Where staff agree to work additional hours, they receive overtime pay

Base salaries in the Communications Centres range from approximately $57,600 to $97,300.

National Communications Centre staff benefit from the same leave entitlements and additional key benefits as firefighters (note they are not required to undertake the PCA).

National Communications Centre staff benefit from the same leave entitlements and additional key benefits as firefighters (note they are not required to undertake the PCA).

Fire and Emergency operates one virtual emergency Communication Centre in three locations: in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. When someone needs help and calls 111 requesting Fire and Emergency, they are directed to the nearest centre. If that centre is experiencing high call volumes, then the 111 calls automatically reroute to the next centre.

This workforce capability in conjunction with Communication Centre configuration, allows for varying staff numbers and provides a good service to the New Zealand public.

Trainers, Advisors and Support roles

Support and advisor roles include firefighter training, volunteer support, risk reduction and community readiness and response.

Many firefighters choose to progress into these positions where they can apply and further develop the skills, knowledge and experience they have developed as operational firefighters.

People employed in these positions work an average of 40 hours per week, between the normal hours of 7:00am to 6:00pm, Monday to Friday. Due to the operational, community facing nature of these positions there can be work outside these hours, including on the weekends, and some on-call work may be required. Allowances, overtime pay and/or time off in lieu compensate for work completed outside of normal hours.

Base salaries for these positions currently range from approximately $83,000 to $130,000.

People employed in these operational roles benefit from the same additional key benefits as firefighters.

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