2001 was declared International Year of the Volunteer by the United Nations General Assembly. They recognised the importance and value of volunteer service to social, humanitarian, cultural and economic causes, and peace-keeping. For this to happen, greater recognition and promotion of volunteers and their work was called for. A medal was issued to celebrate this and those who had served as a Fire Service volunteer for 90 days between December 2000 and December 2001 were eligible to receive these.
2011 is the 10th anniversary and it was decided to recognise volunteers again in a similar way and using the same criteria. Hutt Valley Fire Support celebrated International Year of the Volunteer on Satuday 10 December 2011 with special parade where eligible members were presented with International Year of the Volunteer medals by Upper Hutt mayor Wayne Guppy. Longer serving personnel already holding this medal received a bar to signify 10 years. The orange on the ribbon represents New Zealand Volunteer Firefighters and the blue in the centre is the colour representing the United Nations who sanctioned this award.
Friends, families and participating employers attended as this function also included our launch of the Employer Recognition Programme. Read related story
Two honours were also presented:
- SSO David Ackroyd - Gold Bar for 33 years service
- SO Mike Lock - Long Service and Good Conduct Medal
|Hutt Valley Fire Support members on parade to receive their International Year of the Volunteer Medals|
- International Year of the Volunteer Medal
- Volunteering New Zealand
- World Volunteer Web
- United Nations Website
- Volunteering with Hutt Valley Fire Support
Images courtesy of QFF Bruce Key
Hutt Wairarapa Operational Support officially recognises employers of members via the NZFS Employer Recognition Scheme.
The Employer Recognition Scheme acknowledges and thanks employers of volunteer Fire Service Personnel who might have to leave their work to turn out and self-employed members for whom work would stop altogether. Participating employers are offered benefits such as having their brand displayed on fire service vehicles as a public acknowledgement of their support and the use of the Fire Service Employer Programme in their own advertising.
Participating employers and representatives of Hutt Wairarapa Operational Support members are presented with certificates which can also be displayed in a prominent area of the workplace for the public and colleagues to view.
Companies, employers or businesses currently recognised include: