Fire & Rescue NSW stronger than ever
Published: 24th November 2014
Minister for Police and Emergency Services Stuart Ayres has today announced an additional 40 firefighters to strengthen Fire & Rescue NSW (FRNSW).
The 40 new firefighters will be stationed at key locations across the Sydney metropolitan region with Fire & Rescue NSW to operate with a record budget of $665 million – the largest in the organisation’s 130 year history.
“When it comes to frontline emergency services, you don’t get any more frontline than standing face-to-face with fire, protecting lives and property,” Mr Ayres said.
“In addition to the extra firefighters, five new state of the art tankers, worth $1.77 million, will also be rolled out to increase our capability to deal with fires on the urban/bush interface.
“Today's announcement of an extra 40 firefighters means there are more crews on the ground available to protect our communities.
“Under the leadership of Fire & Rescue NSW Commissioner Greg Mullins, and co-operation from the Fire Brigade Employees’ Union, frontline services have been boosted and unexplained absences have significantly decreased.
“While we’re happy to see overtime expenses decline, community safety remains paramount,” Mr Ayres said.
Fire & Rescue NSW Commissioner Greg Mullins welcomed the announcement, saying it was recognition of the important role that Fire & Rescue NSW plays in the community.
“The additional funding and resources announced today is a credit to the professionalism and commitment of our firefighters,” Mr Mullins said.
“The five new fire trucks, which will provide additional capability on Total Fire Ban days, during bush fires and severe weather events like the recent Sydney storms, will be based at Miranda, Lane Cove, Kellyville, Narellan and Cranebrook and will be staffed by 40 additional firefighters.
“The additional firefighters will also be used to help ensure that full-time fire stations in Sydney are online and available to respond to fires and other emergencies both around the city and beyond,” Mr Mullins added.
Today also saw significant reforms to the Permanent Firefighter’s Award seeing an increase in pay of 2.5 per cent.
Additionally, $1 million has been allocated to fund new equipment for Fire & Rescue NSW’s volunteer Community Fire Units (CFU), which play a vital role in protecting and saving homes during bush fire emergencies.
A further $375,000 has also been provided for the development of a mobile phone app to keep CFU volunteers up to date on bush fire activity in their area.
“There is no greater supporter of firefighters in NSW than the Liberals & Nationals Government and that support will never waiver,” Mr Ayres added.