Emergency Services on parade at Mardi Gras

Published: 5th March 2009

Firefighters, volunteers and emergency services personnel will march in the 2009 Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade to celebrate diversity in the state's emergency services and take fire and safety messages to the streets of Sydney.

Members of the NSW Fire Brigades (NSWFB), Rural Fire Service (RFS) and State Emergency Service (SES), and their emergency services vehicles and fire engines, will join the parade.

"This is a valuable way to show that men and women in the emergency services come from all walks of life and are dedicated to creating a safer  community," NSWFB Commissioner Greg Mullins said.

"The event also provides an opportunity to spread important fire safety messages, such as alerting overseas visitors that Triple Zero (000) is the number to call in an emergency in Australia," said Commissioner Mullins.

Rural Fire Service (RFS) Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said members from across the statewould travel to Sydney for the parade.

"The RFS is a reflection of the NSW community, and our presence at the parade will highlight the varied and diverse nature of our 70,000 committed and hard-working members," said Commissioner Fitzsimmons.

"This event will also provide the people of NSW with the opportunity to recognise the efforts of theiremergency services personnel, who are ready to protect the community every day of the year."

State Emergency Service Director General Murray Kear said, "In recent times of crisis, emergency service volunteers and personnel worked together to provide a fast and effective local response to severe storms and flooding. The SES presence in the Parade demonstrates the commitment theservice has in supporting the diverse communities we serve.

"Emergency personnel at the SES, RFS and the NSWFB are working very closely together at fires and emergencies across NSW on a daily basis and their training and skills have undoubtedly been put to the test by recent events.

"Our dedicated members will be marching in the Mardi Gras to make people more aware of hazards that affect their community and this is every Sydneysider's opportunity to show theirappreciation and say thanks," said Mr Kear.