The Treasurer sets the amount of Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) budget each year.
There are three contributors to the total. The insurance industry contributes 73.7%. Local government contributes 11.7%. The State Government contributes 14.6%.
The insurance industry is required, as a condition of doing business in NSW, to remit its 73.7% from the insurance premiums it receives. The total premium income of the insurance companies is not subject to contribution. For instance, only half of a company's income from household insurance premiums is counted, and only 2.5% of motor vehicle premium income.
Local government councils only pay their 11.7% for FRNSW if FRNSW has a station in their "Fire Districts". All councils in the Sydney area are required to contribute because they are part of the "Sydney Fire District".
Outside Sydney, the Councils in many towns and cities from Albury to Young contribute 11.7% for the local FRNSW Fire Brigade.
Although FRNSW does hazmat everywhere and not just in Fire Districts, Councils that don't have a Fire Station of FRNSW in town do not contribute.
The State Government contributes the other 14.6% from the Consolidated Fund. While not everyone in the State contributes the same amount, we all contribute to some extent.
Through taking out insurance, many people contribute when they pay their insurance. The insurance company shows a separate amount on their invoice notice, which they call "fire service levy". This amount is only an estimate of what the insurance company itself will pay. Insurance companies are not required to do any reconciliation between what they show on your premium, and what they actually remit.
Local government (Councils) remit the amount FRNSW calculates as their share. When you pay rates, or pay rent to a landlord who pays rates, you contribute to the Council's contribution.
We all contribute to the State's 14.6% when we pay taxes.
Effective 1 July 2009, FRNSW will no longer administered the collection of contributions from insurance companies and local government councils on behalf of the Crown Entity. This is due to the introduction of a standardised contributory funding system for FRNSW, Rural Fire Service and State Emergency Service. Emergency Management NSW (formerly Office of Emergency Services) has now become the central billing and distribution agency for the contributions payable to the three emergency services agencies.
FRNSW does not charge for attending fires, or attending hazardous materials emergencies for less than one hour, or for rescue operations.
Charges may be made for attending a non-fire-related hazardous material emergency for more than one hour or attending repeat avoidable false alarm calls.
Members of the public often ring FRNSW because they have been contacted, usually by phone, to buy raffle tickets ‘to support the firefighters.’ FRNSW does not run raffles. People are urged to be careful when responding to any such invitations. In particular:
- try to identify exactly who is asking you for the money (ie if they say firefighters, ask which fire service or brigade specifically, and ring to check if this is true);
- be very careful about giving personal financial information such as credit card and bank account details.
The Rural Fire Service Association (RFSA) is a non-profit group which runs raffles to provide financial support to families of volunteers who are injured fighting fires. The RFSA has no connection with FRNSW. If you have been contacted about a raffle for firefighters, you can contact the RFSA office on (02) 4722 2122 or check their website at www.rfsa.org.au [external link] to check whether the call is genuine.
The core response activities of FRNSW are funded by a mix of funding from state and local government and the insurance industry. We do not solicit donations for our own core activities. FRNSW only accepts donations (usually in the form of sponsorship) for certain of its activities such as Community Fire Units and some community safety prevention programs.
As part of FRNSW's community involvement, many of our personnel regularly make personal donations as well as help to raise funds for selected external organisations such as the Burns Units at The Children’s Hospital, Westmead and the John Hunter Hospital, Newcastle. These organisations were chosen because of their connection with the work of FRNSW. Staff also participate in specific fundraisers such as Bluey Day, a major annual fundraising activity by the emergency services sector. If you have an enquiry about fundraising, please contact the Manager, Corporate Communications Capability Manager, phone (02) 9265 2667 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Individual fire stations sometimes participate in and support particular local community fundraising initiatives. This is a matter for local Zone Commanders and Station Commanders to consider, in accordance with the FRNSW’s policies and procedures. Requests for involvement of local firefighters in fundraising should be made to your local fire station.
Floods and storms information
For emergency help in floods and storms call the SES on 132 500. Call Triple Zero (000) for life-threatening emergencies.
For tips on what your family can do to prepare for storms, visit www.stormsafe.com.au [external link]