Busy night for Fire & Rescue NSW firefighters

Published: 21st April 2015

Fire & Rescue NSW (FRNSW) crews across Sydney and the Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Newcastle areas have responded to nearly 1000 storm-related jobs since late yesterday afternoon in one of the busiest nights in the organisation’s history.

Fire & Rescue NSW Commissioner Greg Mullins said FRNSW had taken more than 3000 Triple Zero (000) calls since 6pm yesterday.

"We have had about 800 firefighters and 200 fire trucks responding to ongoing emergencies including flood rescues, house fires, serious road accidents with people trapped, trees down and building collapses," Commissioner Mullins said.

This morning Commissioner Mullins ordered the mobilisation of 24 reserve fire trucks and the recall of off-duty firefighters. These crews, together with a contingent of fire trucks and crews from Sydney, will be used to assist Central Coast and Newcastle fire crews.

During last night's emergency response, a Raymond Terrace firefighter was injured when a large tree fell on a fire truck cabin at Heatherbrae, Port Stephens. The firefighter was transported to hospital with minor injuries and is in a stable condition. At Morriset a tree has brought down powerlines on top of a fire truck, trapping firefighters inside.

Incidents firefighters have responded to since 4pm yesterday until 8am today include:

  • Dungog firefighters rescuing numerous residents trapped by floodwaters in Stroud, near Newcastle
  • More than 990 storm-related emergencies, including powerlines down and arcing, trees down and assisting members of the public
  • More than 30 rescues, including two people in Rankin Park, Lake Macquarie, after a large tree fell on their house, restricting access.
  • About 75 fires, including a two-storey house in Carlton destroyed by fire, and a school fire at Holsworthy
  • 16 electrical fires and five gas leaks
  • More than 180 other callouts such as automatic fire alarms being set off by wind, power outages and heavy rain.
  • Commissioner Mullins said FRNSW would continue to provide support to the NSW SES throughout today as extreme weather conditions continue.

"I can only praise firefighters and our other emergency service colleagues for their mighty effort," he said. "We’re also appealing to the public to only call Triple Zero (000) if it is a genuine emergency and do not drive through floodwaters. For flood and storm assistance, call the NSW SES on 132 500," he said.