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Fire And Emergency NZ Releases Independent Review Of NZICC Fire

Fire and Emergency New Zealand has released an independent operational review it commissioned into last October’s New Zealand International Conference Centre fire in Auckland.

The Convention Centre in the Auckland central business district was a large multi-level structure under construction at the time of the fire on 22 October 2019. At its peak around 130 firefighters, 30 appliances and 16 support vehicles attended the fire, which lasted ten days, severely impacting downtown Auckland.

Fire and Emergency NZ National Commander Kerry Gregory says "The NZICC fire was particularly complex and dangerous. It was of a scale rarely experienced in this country."

"In their conclusion, the reviewers said, ‘Fire and Emergency New Zealand personnel were able to draw on their expert knowledge of firefighting in the urban environment to manage the incident safely and effectively with the resources to hand,’ Kerry Gregory says.

"I would like to take this opportunity to again thank our firefighters and support personnel who worked tirelessly in extreme conditions to respond to the NZICC fire."

Raewyn Bleakley, Deputy Chief Executive, Office of the Chief Executive says Fire and Emergency is committed to using every opportunity to learn more about managing fires better.

"That’s why we commissioned this independent review."

"Fire and Emergency New Zealand accepts the independent reviewers’ 11 recommendations which focus mainly on developing a more structured approach around incident readiness and logistics," Raewyn Bleakley says.

"We acknowledge the report and are working to progress its recommendations as part of our overall work programme, Ms Bleakley says.

Mr Gregory says, "We make decisions based on protecting the lives of the public and our people first and protecting property where we can. We are always ready to do better and we’ll be working with our own people and partners across the emergency sector to implement the review’s recommendations."

Note to Editor:

The Operational Review into the NZICC fire was conducted by the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC).

Fire and Emergency New Zealand received the review in August 2020.

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