History honoured as Fire and Rescue NSW returns to Sydney Royal Easter Show - Sydney Olympic Park

Published: 20 Mar 2024 10:23am

From vintage truck displays to historical reflections, Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) will pay homage to the state’s oldest regional brigades as it takes its 140-year celebrations to the 2024 Sydney Royal Easter Show.

The icon of the Sydney events calendar – first held in 1823 and itself steeped in rural tradition – will highlight the state’s long and proud firefighting history when it returns to Sydney Olympic Park from 22 March to 2 April.

FRNSW’s official origins trace back to 1884, when an act of legislation paved the way for the creation of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade, comprising a small workforce using push carts and horse-drawn pumps.

Goulburn’s brigade had formed almost 30 years prior to that, with the township protected by volunteers and insurers initially operating from a makeshift station at the captain’s hotel. 

It transitioned into a professional service in 1910, receiving its first motorised engine at that time.

Other early fire brigades included Windsor (established in 1863), Lambton (1875), Deniliquin (1878) and Tamworth (1878).  

Orange Fire Station remains the state’s longest continually operating regional station, having proudly stood on Summer Street since 1904.

The six stations will feature in historical displays at the show, alongside vintage trucks including the 1930s Dennis F1 ‘Scout Car’ (“The Ace”), 1971 Dennis D600 pumper (“The Jag”), and the International Skyjet.

They will appear alongside our modern-day appliances, including drones and a flood rescue boat, demonstrating how FRNSW has evolved into a service now boasting more than 7,000 firefighters, 4,650 Community Fire Unit volunteers, 335 stations and 726 engines.

FRNSW’s show exhibit will also feature kitchen fire simulations, hose roll demonstrations, rescue displays and fire safety information sessions.

There will be appearances from the ignitable liquid detection dogs from 26 to 28 March, and characters from hit Nickelodeon TV show, PAW Patrol™, on 29 and 30 March.

FRNSW Acting Commissioner, Paul McGuiggan, said the Sydney Royal Easter Show is the perfect place for the fire service to continue its 140-year celebrations.

“It’s great to be able to recognise the critical role our regional fire stations play, and to do so at an event that shares our commitment to supporting bush communities,” Acting Commissioner McGuiggan said.

“We hope visitors to our displays will get a sense of how much firefighting has changed over the years and how this evolution is increasingly enabling us to keep them safe.”

EDITOR'S NOTE: The attached historical photos are courtesy the Museum of Fire. If re-publishing these images, please credit the Museum of Fire.

Updated: 20 Mar 2024 10:28am

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