New South Wales Fire Brigades

New South Wales Fire Brigades

name = New South Wales Fire Brigades

motto = 'Orta Recens Quam Pura Nites', (Newly Risen, How Brightly We Shine)
established = 1884
staffing = 360 administrative and trades staff
strength = 3000 full time and over 3400 retained firefighters
stations = 339
engines = 264
rescues = 56
hazmat = 27
helicopters = 1 x BK 117 helicopter
fireboats = 1
commissioner = Greg Mullins AFSM

The New South Wales Fire Brigades (NSWFB) a New South Wales government agency for firefighting in the major cities, metropolitan areas and towns across rural and regional NSW. Under the Fire Brigades Act 1989, NSWFB also protect the State from hazardous material (HAZMAT) incidents and by extension of this capability, the consequences of terrorism.NSWFB also provide a rescue capability across the State.

The NSW Fire Brigades (NSWFB) is the seventh largest urban fire service in the world, with more than 6400 firefighters serving at 338 fire stations throughout the state, 360 support staff, and 3600 Community Fire Unit volunteers. It also works closely with the Rural Fire Service [ [ Biography - NSW Fire Brigades ] ] .

The NSWFB falls under the portfolio of the Minister for Emergency Services Tony Kelly.


The New South Wales Fire Brigades (NSWFB) was established in September 1909, replacing the Sydney based Metropolitan Fire Brigade, which formed in February 1884 [ [ History of City of Sydney Fire Station] "(NSWFB website)"] . Prior to its formation, Fire Brigade Boards also ran rudimentary fire services in various New South Wales country towns.


The NSW Fire Brigades emblem includes the NSW State emblem with the State motto 'Orta Recens Quam Pura Nites', which is Latin for 'Newly Risen How Brightly We Shine'.

A flag based on the British Blue Ensign with the NSWFB emblem is also used.


Greg Mullins, AFSM, was appointed as Commissioner of the NSW Fire Brigades on 4 July 2003. He is the first person in the history of the NSWFB to be appointed as both Chief Fire Officer / CEO, and to have come from the Brigades’ ranks. The official vehicle of the NSWFB Commissioner bears New South Wales number plate 10, which has been on continuous issue to the head of the fire department in NSW from the RTA since 1910. In April, 2007 the NSWFB Commissioner Greg Mullins had a close call while driving on the M5 motorway in the south west of Sydney. A rather large piece attached to an overpass had fallen off and onto the roadway. A truck in front of vehicle 10 threw the debris up into the air, with Commissioner Mullins being forced to make an emergency braking maneouvre. NSWFB flagship vehicle 10 was badly damaged as a result and had to be towed away from the scene.

Commissioner Mullins joined the NSWFB in 1978 after serving for six years as a volunteer firefighter with the NSW Rural Fire Service. He rose steadily through the ranks serving in operational and specialist positions, becoming a Station Officer in 1990, a District Officer (Inspector) in 1992, a Superintendent in 1995, and an Assistant Commissioner in 1996 [] . In 2000 he was appointed as Director State Operations. He has represented Australian fire services nationally and internationally on issues concerning emergency management, managing the consequences of terrorist attacks, and urban search and rescue.


* Permanent StationsA permanent firefighter is a full-time firefighter [] .Permanent firefighters work in a fire station as part of a platoon. Each fire station has four platoons on rotating shifts each containing anywhere between three to 12 firefighters of various ranks. The number depends on the size and nature of the fire station. Each platoon is supervised by a Station Officer.

Each fire station is part of a Zone containing between nine and 27 fire stations and headed by a Zone Commander. These Zones are then grouped in Regions (North, South and West) headed by a Regional Commander.

* Retained StationsA retained station is a part-time station where retained firefighters work. Even though these firefighters work part-time, it should be noted that these members of the community (who often have other full-time employment) are considered professional firefighters who have undergone training so they can attend the same jobs as permanent firefighters [] . The retained station is not a permanently staffed station, meaning the firefighters are on-call from home or work rather than on duty at the station. However, retained stations respond to emergencies 24 hours a day.Retained firefighters use the same vehicles, equipment and uniforms as their permanent counterparts, the only visible differences being their shoulder and helmet ranks which are red as opposed to white/black.

* Mixed StationsSome stations employ a mixture of Permanent and Retained Firefighters. This arrangement is common in larger country towns such as Bathurst and Orange where the nearest backup would otherwise be some distance away. The station would typically have one appliance manned by permanent staff as first response, with additional vehicles being manned by retained staff as required. The station may have Permanent day and night shifts or be day shift only, with retained staff manning all appliances at night when they are less hampered by work or other commitments.

* Community fire unit volunteersCommunity fire units (CFUs) are volunteer teams of local residents trained to safeguard their homes during a bushfire, until the fire brigades can get there, or to 'mop up' after a fire has passed so fire units can be released to attend more urgent incidents.CFU members are not firefighters [] .The aim of the CFU program is to reduce the impact of bushfires on the community and to protect life and property from bushfires.A typical team is made up of six to 12 members. Recruitment is within the local community. Local fire stations conduct regular training sessions with volunteers. The training focus is on bushfire education, prevention and preparation.

Area of service in New South Wales

The NSW Fire Brigades has 338 fire stations across NSW protecting 90% of the State's populationfact|date=May 2008.

* RescueThe NSW Fire Brigades Rescue conduct a variety of rescue operations state wide, ranging from the release of persons from transport, domestic and industrial incidents to animal rescues. In addition there are specially trained teams that carry out swift water, alpine and vertical rescues and Urban Search and Rescue (USAR).NSWFB Rescue also works in conjunction with other government agencies including the NSW Police Force, Ambulance Service of NSW, the NSW Rural Fire Service and the State Emergency Service. The NSWFB Urban Search and Rescue Taskforce has been registered by the United Nations for international deployment to assist in disaster situations, particularly earthquakes,throughout the Asia-Pacific region [] .

* Hazardous materials (HAZMAT)

The NSW Fire Brigades is responsible for protecting the whole of New South Wales from hazardous materials (hazmat) incidents. We have the authority to attend, combat and render safe any land-based or inland waterway spillage of hazardous materials within the State.

All fire stations are equipped with trained personnel and resources for dealing with hazmat incidents. Each fire station receives hazardous materials awareness training and equipment to combat minor spills of hydrocarbons, gas leaks and emergency decontamination procedures. The NSW Fire Brigades has three specialist Hazardous Materials Response Units operating from Sydney (Greenacre), Newcastle and Shellharbour. They have advanced capabilities in detection of toxic industrial chemicals, volatile substances and chemical warfare agents.

Intermediate hazardous materials response is delivered by 14 strategically located units, including six with a waterways response capability. Each unit is equipped with detection equipment and has the capability to access chemical databases with information on chemical, biological, radiological and toxic industrial chemical substances.

* Bushfire/Natural Hazards

The NSW Fire Brigades supports the Rural Fire Service of NSW during and after bushfires in New South Wales.

* Counter-terrorism

The NSWFB Counter-terrorism and Aviation Unit was established in March 2003 to manage the planning, development and implementation of the counter-terrorism and aviation capability.

The NSW Fire Brigades jointly funds and operates a BK 117 helicopter in partnership with the NSW Police Aviation Support Branch. The helicopter's primary role is response during the crisis and consequence management phases of a terrorist event. It also provides general air transport of both equipment and personnel for complex and/or protracted hazardous materials or rescue incidents and firefighting operations.

* Fire investigation and researchThe NSW Fire Brigades Fire Investigation and Research Unit (FIRU) provides a range of investigative and research services to both internal and external customers including research into human and structural behaviour during fire, and the associated impacts for performance based building design.The Fire Investigation and Research Unit assists with determining fire causes and liaises closely with Police and other investigators.

Fire Engines (Appliances)

All NSW Fire Brigades fire engines are custom designed.The specialised equipment to be carried on fire vehicles (called appliances) is drawn from a standardised listing which forms a managed inventory and is specific to each appliance type and model.Standardisation of inventory is extremely important as this ensures equipment is stowed in an approved and ergonomic manner. It is also ensures the appliance is not overloaded and is within its legal load carrying capacity.

* Tanker Class 1 (4x4)Chassis Make & Model: Isuzu FTS750Body Manufacturer: Mills Tui Australia Pty. Ltd., QueenslandCommissioned: 2003-2004 (8 Vehicles)Crew Capacity: 6

* Pumper Class 2Chassis Make & Model: Isuzu FTR800Body Manufacturer: Skilled Equipment Manufacturing Ltd.Commissioned: 1999-2003 (139 Vehicles)Crew Capacity: 6

* Pumper Class 3Chassis Make & Model: VSV Commander Mk3Body Manufacturer: Varley Specialised Vehicles Ltd.Commissioned: 2001 - 2005 (52 Vehicles)Crew Capacity: 6

*PumperClass 4 (Scania P94D)Chassis Make & Model: Scania P94 DB4x2NA 310 Crew CabBody Manufacturer: Australian Fire CompanyCommissioned: 2000 - 2001 (12 Vehicles)Crew Capacity: 5

* Pumper Class 4 (Varley Commander)Chassis Make & Model: VSV Commander Mk2Body Manufacturer: Varley Specialised Vehicles Ltd.Commissioned: 2000 - 2004 (37 Vehicles)Crew Capacity: 6

* Pumper Class 5Chassis Make & Model: VSV Commander Mk2Body Manufacturer: Varley Specialised Vehicles Ltd.Commissioned: 2000 (12 Vehicles)

* Aerial PumperChassis Make & Model: Scania P94 GB6x4NB 310Body Manufacturer: Mills-Tui Ltd., New ZealandCommissioned: 2000-2001 (10 Vehicles)Crew Capacity: 5

* Turntable LadderChassis Make & Model: Iveco EuroMover 190 E 34Body Manufacturer: Iveco Magirus AG / Varley Spec. VehiclesCommissioned: 2001 - 2003 (2 Vehicles)Crew Capacity: 2

* Aerial Ladder Platform 37m (Mercedes/Bronto)Chassis Make & Model: Mercedes Benz K2435Body Manufacturer: Alexander Perrie & Co. Pty. Ltd.Commissioned: 1996 - 2001 (6 Vehicles)Crew Capacity: 2

* Aerial Ladder Platform 37m (Scania/Bronto)Chassis Make & Model: Scania P124 GB 8x4Body Manufacturer: Alexander Perrie & Co. Pty. Ltd.Commissioned: 2004 (1 Vehicle)Crew Capacity: 2

* Aerial Ladder Platform 27m (Scania/Bronto)Chassis make & Model: Scania P94 GB 4x2Body Manufacturer: Alexander Perrie & Co. Pty. Ltd.Commissioned: 2004 (1 vehicle)

Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT)

*BA Training TrailerChassis Make & Model: Mercedes Benz Actros 2648 (6x4)Trailer Manufacturer: Maxicube Trailers Pty. Ltd.Commissioned: 1999 (1 Vehicle)Crew Capacity: 2

* Heavy HazMat (Austral Firepac)Chassis Make & Model: Austral Firepac 3500Body Manufacturer: Austral Specialised VehiclesCommissioned: 1997 (1 Vehicle)Crew Capacity: 2

* Heavy HazMat (International)Chassis Make & Model: International 1850G LPVBody Manufacturer: Mills-Tui Limited (New Zealand)Commissioned: 1999 - 2000 (3 Vehicles)Crew Capacity: 3

* Heavy HazMat (Isuzu)Chassis Make & Model: Isuzu 950 LongBody Manufacturer: Varley Specialised VehiclesCommissioned: 2007 - 2008 (6 Vehicles)Crew Capacity: 2

*C02Chassis Make & Model: Isuzu FRR550 Crew CabBody Manufacturer: Mills-Tui Limited (Australia)Commissioned: 2001 (1 Vehicle)Crew Capacity: 3

* HazMat VanChassis Make & Model: Mercedes Benz Sprinter 413CDI high roofBody Manufacturer: Caddy Storage SystemsCommissioned: 2000-2002 (22 Vehicles)Crew Capacity: 2

* Heavy RescueChassis Make & Model: Isuzu FVR950 Heavy DutyBody Manufacturer: Austral Specialised VehiclesCommissioned: 2000 - 2001 (10 Vehicles)Crew Capacity: 2

* Heavy Rescue (Austral)Chassis Make & Model: Austral Firepac 3500Body Manufacturer: Mills-Tui Limited (Australia)Commissioned: 1997 (3 Vehicles)Crew Capacity: 2

* City of Sydney Varley RescueChassis Make & Model: VSV Commander Mk2Body Manufacturer: Varley Specialised Vehicles Ltd.Commissioned: 2001 (1 Vehicle)Crew Capacity: 6

* Rescue VanChassis Make & Model: Mercedes Benz Sprinter 413CDI high roofBody Manufacturer: Caddy Storage SystemsCommissioned: 2000-2002 (42 Vehicles)Crew Capacity: 2

* Modular (Pod) Transport SystemChassis Make & Model: International 2350GBody Manufacturer: Commercial Engineering and Technology /Cooks Body Works Pty. Ltd.Commissioned: 1999 (2 Vehicles)Crew Capacity: 3

* USAR 1Chassis Make & Model: Mercedes Benz Actros 2653 (6x4)Body Manufacturer: Peki Transport Equipment Pty. LtdCommissioned: 2004 (1 Vehicle)Crew Capacity: 2

* FireAir 1Kawasaki BK 117 helicopterOfficially commissioned 7 December Jointly owned by NSW Fire Brigades and NSW Police and used for the rapid deployment of specialist resources for tactical operations, forensic services, bomb disposal, chemical, biological, and radiological detection/decontamination, and urban search and rescue.

* Incident Control VehicleChassis Make & Model: MAN 11.160 HOCLBody Manufacturer: PMC (Adelaide), Fitted out by NSW Fire BrigadesCommissioned: 1997-1998 (2 Vehicles)Crew Capacity: 3


As well as the obvious danger of heat, firefighters are exposed to toxic fumes, sharp objects, uneven ground, slippery surfaces, biological fluids, spilt chemicals and electricity [] .Due to these hazards, firefighting uniforms need to provide the best possible protection. Firefighting ensembles are known as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and generally consist of the following items:Tunic, flash hoods, boots, helmet, gloves, breathing apparatus, overtrousers and other assorted items such as bushfire jackets, high-visibility safety vests, cold and extreme climate clothing, and wet weather clothing [] .

ee also

* Firefighting
* New South Wales Rural Fire Service
* Country Fire Service
* Country Fire Authority


External links

* [ NSW Fire Brigades official website]
* [ NSW Rural Fire Service Website]
* [ Museum of Fire]
* [ NSW Fire Brigade Employees Union]
* [ Unofficial NSW Fire Brigades "HAZMAT" page]
* [ Station 86 (Penrith) homepage ]
* [ Station 63 (Blacktown) homepage ]
* NSW Fire Brigade Training Facility coord|33|54|19|S|151|12|3|E

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