Aerial Appliances, Aerials

Appliances with a vertical reach of at least 29 metres, designed for high level rescue or firefighting.

Aerial Ladder Platform

A hybrid of a turntable ladder and a hydraulic platform.

Aerial Pumper

A minor aerial appliance, with a vertical reach of 15 metres, used for rescue or firefighting.

All Terrain Vehicles

The vehicle operates in and around the snowfields and high country areas of the Snowy Mountains. Its operational scope includes wilderness search and rescue, general land rescue (MVA), limited hazardous materials operations and structural firefighting capability. It is able to operate in extreme weather conditions on a variety of surfacing including soft and deep packed snow, light scrub country, and paved roads.


A vehicle (normally a truck) designed and equipped to deal with emergencies.

Breathing Apparatus (BA)

Respiratory protective equipment consisting of a mask, air cylinder, harness and associated devices that firefighters wear to protect themselves from toxic fumes and smoke.

Combat Agency

The agency with primary responsibility for responding to an emergency.

Community Fire Unit (CFU)

A group of volunteer local residents trained to protect their own homes from bushfires while they await arrival of a fire service. Usually established in areas of urban/bushland interface.

Community Fire Unit Trailer

A trailer equipped with specific tools for the community fire unit team to use. The trailer is kept by one of the members of the community fire unit.

Computer Aided Dispatch System

A computer system used to minimise the time taken to dispatch resources to an incident.

Fire District

An area to which the Fire Brigades Act applies. It is always within a local government area, and is protected by the FRNSW. (By exception, the Fire Districts of Perisher Valley and Thredbo are in a National Parks and Wildlife Service area).

Greater Sydney Area (gSa)

An area of Sydney broadly extending to Berowra in the north, Richmond in the north west, Emu Plains in the west, Campbelltown and Camden in the south west and Engadine and Bundeena in the south.

Hazard Reduction

Reduction of fuel loads to reduce the impact of fire, commonly used to minimise bushfire potential.


Hazardous materials such as chemicals, petroleum products and other substances that may cause injury or death or damage to property.

Heavy Hazmat Support Vehicle

A specialist emergency vehicle equipped for major hazmat emergencies and rescues.

Heavy Rescue Support Vehicle

A specialist emergency vehicle equipped for major emergencies and rescues.

Hydraulic Platform

An aerial appliance which has an elevating platform like a cherry picker.

Hytrans High Volume Mobile Water Supply System

The Hytrans appliance can be used to supply large volumes of water (potentially around 8000 litres/minute) for firefighting at large-scale fires, across distances of up to 1.5 kilometres. It can operate from both a static and reticulated supply, and pumps water vertically up to a height of 60m. It lays its inventory of 150mm hose at a maximum speed of 40 km/h. The appliance can also be used to pump water from flood-affected areas and move it up to 1.5 kilometres. This could include car parks and basements or low-lying streetscapes. Furthermore, the appliance can be used to assist in moving town water if the existing reticulated supply is compromised.


Any occurrence to which FRNSW resources are responded.

Incident Control Vehicle

A vehicle specially designed to act as a mobile command post.

Intermediate Hazmat Vehicle

A specially designed vehicle equipped for hazmat incidents and allocated to country towns with a normal operating area of 100 km around the town.

Malicious False Calls

Deliberate false calls to the Fire and Rescue NSW.

Minor Aerial Appliance

An aerial appliance with a vertical reach of 15 metres, also called a rescue monitor.

Mutual Aid Agreement

A document which outlines cooperative arrangements between the NSW Rural Fire Service and the Fire and Rescue NSW on a local government area basis. These agreements are intended to ensure that every community is provided with the best possible response to incidents.

Mutual Aid Zone

The geographical area within which the provisions of a Mutual Aid Agreement apply. A Mutual Aid Zone will generally encompass areas contiguous with the boundaries of Fire and Rural Fire Districts. It may also cover significant assets or areas where the nature of the hazard or an identified type of incident would require joint response by both the NSW Rural Fire Service and Fire and Rescue NSW.

On-call Firefighter

Part-time firefighter paid a monthly retainer, plus call-out and drill fees. Can also be known as Retained Firefighter.

Permanent Firefighter

Full-time firefighter. Also referred to as a Career Firefighter.

Pre-incident Planning

Plans prepared by firefighters and the community designed to reduce the impact of an incident when it occurs. This includes preparing occupants to deal with an emergency and ensuring that firefighters are prepared for an emergency at a specific building or facility.


An emergency vehicle designed to transport firefighters and their equipment and to pump water.

Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS)

RPAS, (commonly known as drones) are small lightweight easily- manoeuvred machines that can fly considerable distances remotely controlled by a pilot. Using RPAS at incidents represents only a small part of their potential capability. RPAS can also record, compile and disseminate information during the prevention, preparation and recovery phase of operations for data collection and information gathering purposes. This includes pre-incident planning and rapid damage assessment following major incidents such as floods and bushfires.


Rescue Vehicle

A specially equipped emergency vehicle for particular types of rescues and reduction of property damage.

System Initiated False Alarms

Unintended false alarms generated by an alarm system.

Turbine Aided Firefighting (TAF20)

The TAF20 is a versatile remote control firefighting appliance consisting of a turbine fan and water delivery system mounted on a compact crawler vehicle. The turbine is fitted with a nozzle ring which atomizes water and foam to form a fine mist which is distributed by propeller. The spray action is variable, ranging from a mist which can be projected up to 60 metres to a water jet able to be projected up to 90 metres. The mist is a very efficient fire fighting medium and has a much higher cooling capacity than conventional systems. The TAF20 is operated by remote control, allowing direct attack on fires without exposing firefighters to the same level of risk. For example, in a tunnel fire, the TAF20 can be sent on ahead while crews follow behind at a safe distance. The operator can be as far as 500 metres away from the unit.

Turntable Ladder

An aerial appliance which has an elevating and extending ladder.

Urban Pumper

Standard (normal) fire truck allocated to fire stations in towns and cities.

Water Carriers

A truck and/or trailer equipped to carry bulk quantities of water.