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Joint Statement - Fire & Rescue NSW and NSW Rural Fire Service

Published: 21st March 2018

Fire & Rescue NSW Commissioner Paul Baxter 
NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons

For more than 20 years, NSW has had the benefit of coordinated firefighting arrangements.

These arrangements have worked well, ensuring the community has the benefit of the expertise of both fire agencies.

Each day, you will find the two services work side by side in the community, and at a range of incidents.

At the weekend, firefighters from all agencies worked hard under difficult and dangerous conditions.

We should be thankful that their combined efforts resulted in no loss of life – either to members of the public, or to firefighters.

The matter is now subject to a formal review however where there are lessons to be learnt from events such as these, the two agencies will work together to identify them in a constructive and collaborative way.

However as the Commissioners of each agency, we agree that the response was appropriate given the fire location, the type of vehicles available, and the information available at the time.

Claims to the contrary are disappointing, and poorly timed, given the firefighting operation is continuing and the community has been affected deeply by this tragedy.