Fire and Rescue’s array of high-tech gadgetry hits the road through regional NSW - Coffs Harbour

Published: 03 May 2023 12:53pm

What does a Mobile Control Centre that screens “live” footage from drones over fires to commanders; a portable satellite communications network that can set up during floods or bushfires; and technology that can provide a fire truck with its own WiFi bubble, regardless of blackspots, have in common?

They’re all heading to a public demonstration near you!

Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) is conducting a roadshow of its latest technological advancements to fire stations and communities across regional NSW.

The technology represents key features of FRNSW’s ‘Connected Firefighter’ program, a three-year project to put the latest information and communications into the hands of the state’s firefighters, in response to events such as the Black Summer Bushfire crisis.

FRNSW wants to familiarise its regionally-based firefighters and communities with the impressive technology now being used in the field to upgrade old hardware and create a safer environment.

Fresh from a demonstration at the FRNSW stand at Sydney's Royal Easter Show, the roadshow will visit the State Road Crash Rescue competition at the Coffs Harbour International Stadium on Saturday 6 May to showcase:

Mobile Command Centres ‘Connected Firefighter’ upgrades include improved Mobile Command Centres (MCC).

These vehicles allow FRNSW Commanders to establish a modern command post at an emergency scene and direct resources where they’re most needed. The technology in the MCC’s allow Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) or drones to fly above emergencies and beam “live” footage back as aerial intelligence to the truck for a Commander’s consideration.

Cells on Wheels “Cell on Wheels” (CoWs) are rapid response vehicles that can deploy to an area hit by disasters like fires or floods and provide power, radio and internet communications to those who need it most.

Its ground-breaking tech includes Wi-Fi and radio repeater capabilities which can extend communications coverage into deeper areas like tunnels, underground facilities and inside buildings.

Vehicle Communications Hubs The FRNSW fleet is being fitted with hardware that allows 4G and Satellite-based communications devices to overcome blackspots anywhere in NSW.

This will provide better comms for firefighters needing urgent assistance and creates a ‘Wi-Fi bubble’ for every appliance.

Mobile Data Terminals (MDT) MDT’s are fitted in each fire truck to provide firefighters with ‘live’ access to critical information about an emergency (e.g. Triple Zero (000) calls, deployed resources and advanced mapping).

Crews use the information provided through the MDT’s to plan ahead of their arrival at an emergency scene.

Upgraded vehicle and portable radios New dual-band radios are being Wi-Fi-enabled for remote servicing and upgrades. They are able to access the 4G and satellite communications through the hub, as mentioned above, to communicate with other emergency agencies through the expanded Public Safety Network (formerly known as the Government Radio Network – GRN)

Two-way pagers Upgraded FRNSW Communications mean two-way pagers can notify On-call (retained) firefighters if a network is down or congested, ensuring a rapid response to emergencies.

Updated: 03 May 2023 12:58pm

listView more incidents

Details about this incident may change and should not be used as emergency information and/or advice.

For all life threatening emergencies, call Triple Zero (000)

For flood information, warnings or requests for non-life threatening assistance, call the SES on 132 500 or visit the NSW State Emergency Service website here. [external link].

For information directly relating to bushfires please call the Bush Fire Information Line on 1800 679 737 or visit the NSW Rural Fire Service Website here. [external link]

Stations nearby


9-11 Market Street, Coffs Harbour NSW 2450

SAWTELL Fire Station

140 Sawtell Road, Toormina NSW 2452


1867 Solitary Islands Way, Woolgoolga NSW 2456