80 The Terrace
PO Box 2133
Phone +64 4 496 3600
6 August 2021
By email: [FYI request #15756 email]
Dear Mike Information Request
– Medical response
I refer to your official information request dated 11 June 2021 asking for information
and Emergency New Zealand’s capacity as a medical responder.
Your request has been assessed in accordance with the provisions of the Official Information Act
1982. I set out the response to each of your questions below.
1. Could you provide a list of fire brigades that are "first response" brigades for medical
a list of the first response brigades for medical emergencies.
2. Could you define the difference between co-response and first response fire brigades and
the training they receive?
Co-responders attend all community cardiac arrest incidents and immediately life-
threatening events. Training for co-responders consists of an initial two-day course
followed by a one-day recertification course every two years.
First responders attend a wider variety of incidents including the immediately life-
threatening incidents attended by co-responders as well as potentially life-threatening,
time-critical, urgent or potentially serious incidents. The training for first responders is
provided by St John New Zealand and the Wellington Free Ambulance and consists of an
initial four-day course followed by a one-day training module every six months.
3. Are all rural fire brigades medical responders?
No. Not all rural brigades are medical responders.
4. Could you also release any operational, training material, guides or manuals for FENZ
medical responses, please?
The following documents have been identified as the key documents that guide Fire and
Emergency’s response to medical incidents:
• First Responder Field Guide and the Medical Co-responder Field Guide
• Operational First Aid Policy
• Medical Response Stand-down Procedure
• Memorandums of Understanding between Fire and Emergency New Zealand and
St John Ltd and Wellington Free Ambulance
• First Aid and Co-response for Firefighters Technical Manual
• Emergency Medical Support Policy, and
• Medical Co-Response - recognition of equivalency guidelines and forms.
The release of the First Responder Field Guide and the Medical Co-responder Field Guide
documents would be likely to prejudice interests protected by section 9 of the Official
Information Act, specifically section 9(k), therefore the withholding of the information is
necessary to prevent the disclosure or use of official information for improper gain or
improper advantage. This is because the guides are provided by St John only as part of the
training it provides to Fire and Emergency medical responders and provision of the guides
to persons who have not attended this training may lead to improper gain or advantage.
However, this can also be prevented by making the information available for you to view,
rather than providing a copy. If you would like to view the Field Guides, please contact [email address]
and we will arrange that for you.
I enclose the remainder of the documents. Please note some information has been
withheld from the Memorandum of Understanding Wellington Free Ambulance under
section 9(2)(ba), to protect information subject to an obligation of confidence.
The First Aid and Co-response for Firefighters Technical Manual is currently under review
and is in the process of being updated. Some information in this document has been
withheld under section 9(2)(a) to protect the privacy of natural persons.
5. Does FENZ have any future plans for additional or more advanced medical training for
frontline fire staff and volunteers?
Fire and Emergency has no current plans for additional or more advanced medical training
You have the right to seek an investigation and review by the Ombudsman of this response.
Information about how to make a complaint is available at www.ombudsman.parliament.nz
freephone 0800 802 602.
Deputy Chief Executive, Office of the Chief Executive