The National Health Coordination Centre (NHCC) will decide whether an NZMAT should be deployed or put on standby in any situation. Team members will be selected from those who have pre-registered with NZMAT, based on the skills and services required.
If you are selected for a deployment, you will be notified through the contact details provided during the registration process. Various means will be used to reach members – telephone, email, pager, alert/notification systems.
Volunteers may be needed at any time, day or night, so you should provide 24/7 contact details. Make sure you keep them up-to-date with the NZMAT Programme Manager.
Advance warning of deployment
On average, volunteers receive 1–3 days warning of a deployment. However, in extreme circumstance, there may be only 4–8 hours.
As the situation may change rapidly and other parties may be deployed into the affected area, last minute changes may be made to the team make-up. Volunteers must therefore be prepared to be flexible, and to wait for new instructions if required.
If the NHCC controller believes a situation may require health support from outside the affected area, an NZMAT response may be put on stand-by as a contingency in advance of any formal requests from the affected area.
Membership and participation on a NZMAT is on a voluntary basis. You can accept or decline any given request for deployment/participation – it is your decision.
If you accept a deployment, it is expected that you will go.
Keep in mind that participating in an emergency response can:
- be physically and emotionally draining
- separate you from your family for extended periods of time
- be dangerous.
It is your responsibility to make all arrangements with your employer (including obtaining permission to volunteer) before accepting a volunteer assignment from NZMAT.
Discuss possible deployment with your employer prior to deployment. Your employer may not understand the purpose of NZMAT and the functions the team provide – if needed, you can refer them to Information for employers of staff who wish to volunteer with NZMAT.
It is your responsibility to make arrangements for childcare and other personal needs before accepting a volunteer assignment from NZMAT.