Connected Firefighter Program

Published: 31st January 2023

Connected Firefighter is a NSW Government funded initiative and a commitment made in direct response to the 2019-20 Bushfire Inquiry that delivers the latest communications information technologies.

More than $28 million has been invested into the Connected Firefighter program, which integrates the latest information and communications technologies and delivers it to our firefighters when and where they need it. Connected Firefighter program funding is part of an $80million investment from NSW Government committed to FRNSW as a result of the Bushfire Inquiry which will support enhanced facilities and technology for up to five years.

Connected Firefighter will significantly improve critical fire safety communication, situational awareness and decision making for our people, other emergency agencies and our community, now and into the future.

Under our five year Plus Plan strategy, FRNSW committed to working with partner agencies, industry and government to provide firefighters with the technology they need to perform their vital roles safely and effectively. Connected Firefighter, along with communication centre upgrades and other enhancements that accompany this program will ensure FRNSW is prepared for anything, to protect the irreplaceable.

Connected Firefighter upgrades include:

Cell on Wheels (CoWs)

Rapid response vehicles that provide power, radio and internet communications to support emergency response and recovery in areas with no coverage, ensuring emergency services personnel have the power and communications equipment they need to remain operational in difficult circumstances. CoWs also benefit communities who may be cut-off or isolated by enabling access to internet and telecommunications services while failed infrastructure is restored.

Vehicle Communications Hub

Provides critical communications connectivity and automatic Advanced Vehicle Location (AVL) technologies within appliances that are capable of locating firefighters for emergency turnout and during an incident to improve personnel safety, allowing firefighters to continue using radios and hand-held devices via 4G and satellite and reducing the risk of losing critical communications beyond local communication infrastructure or 'blackspots'.

Vehicle radio replacement

New Wi-Fi enabled radios with the ability to communicate with other emergency services and access the expanded Government Radio Network (GRN), remote servicing and able to access the 4G and satellite communications provided through the Vehicle Communications Hub.

Portable handheld radio replacement

Radios with dual-band capability and interoperability with partner emergency services agencies to facilitate information sharing and improved safety. Radios can access the expanded GRN and are Wi-Fi enabled for remote servicing.

Two-way pagers

Providing coverage across both paging and 4G networks, ensuring on-call firefighters can be notified of incidents when one network is down or congested.

Mobile Data Terminals (MDT)

MDT units fitted in all appliances to provide firefighters with live access to critical information about an emergency including Triple Zero (000) call details and advanced mapping.

ADASHI laptop upgrades

A specialist tool that supports Commanders to plan and execute an incident response for any type of emergency.

Mobile Command Centre (MCC)

Upgraded IT and communications equipment to provide Incident Management Teams with a mobile facility and the technology needed to direct complex activities during major emergencies, including real-time information for critical decision-making and coordination needed for the response teams involved, often across multiple emergency services agencies.