Additional $34m Government funding significantly boosts Fire and Rescue NSW’s flood response capabilities - VIDEO - Near Goulburn

Published: 15 Dec 2022 04:59pm

Media Note: correction in third paragraph to signify the inquiry's recommendations.

Fire and Rescue NSW has welcomed the government’s announcement of an additional $34.3m towards its flood response capability, declaring it will fund more in-water rescue technicians, vehicles and equipment.

The funding commitment for FRNSW is part of an overall $159.5m investment in flood capability across the state and has been delivered following the Independent Inquiry into the NSW flood disaster. 

In August, the Inquiry handed down 28 recommendations around the way NSW prepares for, responds to and recovers from catastrophic events such as the 2022 flood disasters.

The two-year funding commitment includes:
- Training, equipment and vehicles to support increasing number of in-water specialists to 350 ($19.8m)
- Three additional high-volume water pumps and an additional capacity for bulk water transfer ($6.2m)
- 12 inflatable motorised rescue boats (approx. $1.6m)
- High clearance vehicles used to reach stranded communities
- Multi-agency flood rescue kits for fire trucks ($2.1m)
- Additional wetsuits, Personal Flotation Devices and portable radios for in-water technicians.

Fire and Rescue NSW Commissioner Paul Baxter said the additional funding represents the government’s recognition of the extraordinary flood response work carried out by FRNSW during the State Emergency Service-led disaster operations.

“Our people have been working tirelessly across the state over the past two years, rescuing stranded residents, ferrying food to isolated homesteads, flying infrastructure reconnaissance missions with our drone fleet…even rescuing animals, including a camel stuck in the Murray River,” Commissioner Baxter said.

“This funding will make a significant difference for our firefighters training in flood response and allow us to boost our capability to further protect the community.”

The extra government expenditure comes as scores of firefighters are trained as ‘In-water’ specialists at a natural water course in the Shoalhaven River near Goulburn.

The course offers a realistic swift-water environment in which to certify their land and water-based flood rescue qualifications.

The most recent session which finished on Monday has seen 55 firefighters from the City of Sydney Fire Station put through their paces.

Another In-water course, for FRNSW Team Leaders, was completed at Ballina, in the state’s north, at the weekend.

***Media Note: footage and grabs relating to the training is available at: [external link]

Updated: 27 Jan 2023 05:15pm

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