STEWART DAVIES – QSM
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT ADVISOR
Stewart has a wealth of experience in Emergency Management in many areas including over 30 years with the New Zealand Police involving a number of portfolios at a Senior level. One of the main portfolios was that of Search and Rescue Co-Ordinator for the Palmerston North Police District. This continued until his retirement and he continued his involvement with Search and Rescue with Land Sar as a volunteer. Other Emergency Management experience involved many years in Local Government., Tertiary and Rural Fire Sectors. Stewart continues to have an interest in the Rescue Helicopter sector.
The focus for Stewart is in supporting communities and businesses to become more resilient to the many challenges New Zealand faces on a regular basis by way of Emergency events. These might range from minor events that are over in number of days or to long term events such as the Covid -19 Pandemic event that New Zealand and the world is currently facing. To become more resilient practical training sessions on a regular basis are the best way to manage such Emergency events.
The importance of good relationships and communication is one of the key strengths that Stewart brings and by empowering communities and businesses to become resilient we are all able as New Zealanders collectively to have a level of assurance that we live in a great place.
1.How long and what roles have you had or currently maintain in Emergency Management?
Answer. Joined the NZ Police in 1969 as a 19-year-old. Dealt with numerous events but my passion for EM really commenced when I was posted to the Wellington Wharf Police station in 1972.
Crewed the Police launch and took part in many rescues. Posted to Levin in 1979 and took up the Sar portfolio
For the Palmerston North Police District which included both Land Sar and Marine Sar. I retained this role
Until my retirement from the Police in 2000. Continued with Emergency Management with Massey University, PNCC and UCOL
Until the end of 2020. I have continued involvement with the Philips SAR trust. Also, now a trainer for EM Services and NZ Survivor.
2.Did you want to be in these types of roles.?
Answer. Yes. From first being involved in 1969.
3. Can you remember your first day. Can you describe it.?
Answer. Yes. A major learning curve and being involved with people who have so much expertise.
4. What advice would you have given your younger self, just starting out, knowing what you know now.
Answer. Draw on the expertise and knowledge of others.
5. If you could start over again would you choose a different department, path or career.
Answer. No. Emergency Management is about people sometimes in very critical situations, being able to make a difference has always been a very positive factor for me.
6. What advice would you give someone confident about pursuing a similar career.
Answer. Join an emergency service as a fulltime employee or volunteer. Gain tertiary qualifications as well.
7.What advice would you give someone that really wants to be in a position to help people in the community, but doesn’t think they are brave enough.
Answer. Join a volunteer organisation. FENZ, Land Sar, Coastguard, Red Cross or a NZ Rescue team etc.
8. What are of the best outcomes/achievements you have been a part of in your career.
Answer: Bringing a successful outcome to an event. ie: a successful search, being part of a team that makes it happen.
9. Wh0 have been great role models or extraordinary influences in your successful career over the years?
Answer. Those people Managers, who give you the responsibility, tools and resources to carry out the task.
10 What are some saddest/worst events you have been part of?
Answer. Have been in numerous events. One I relate to is the 1995 crash of a Ansett aircraft near Palmerston North.
11. Did you ever feel like giving up due to the work pressures or exposure to extreme situations.
Answer. No. Working with a team and good debriefing managed this.
12. How has Technology changed since you started.
Answer. In a massive way, social media for comms, internet, mobile digital capacity, apps have totally changed how we operate in many ways.
13. Being a NZ Survivor trainer, is there anything you would like to say to potential clients.
Answer. Train, train and train. Consider Emergency Management as part of your everyday business, not a clip on or tick box exercise.