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Fire & Rescue NSW Officers assist with Canadian Bushfire Emergency

Published: 19th July 2017

Fire & Rescue NSW (FRNSW) this morning deployed a number of officers to assist with Canada’s ongoing crisis.

A state of emergency has been declared in the Canadian province of British Columbia as the region battles over 180 wildfires, stretching 24,000 hectares.

Four FRNSW Officers were part of a 50-strong Australian contingent deployed to the region. FRNSW Chief Superintendent Brett Davies, Superintendent Greg Rankin, Superintendent Jeff Hogan and Superintendent Kel McNamara will assist more than 1000 firefighters currently in the field.

Superintendent Greg Rankin said FRNSW officers will provide much needed relief for local fire fighters.

“FRNSW will provide incident management support for the Canadian Fire Services and allow firefighters some well-deserved rest and relief,” he said.

“All FRNSW Officers have many years of experience fighting bushfires and are specialists in emergency management, so we are confident we will be able to contribute to their continuing operations.

The response is being jointly managed by the NSW Rural Fire Service and Emergency Management Victoria.

The Australian contingent will consist of highly skilled fire specialists, including Incident Management Teams personnel and aviation specialists FRNSW Officers will remain in Canada for up to six weeks.

FRNSW Commissioner Paul Baxter said he was pleased FRNSW is lending its support to the firefighting operations.

“Australia has an on-going mutual fire management arrangement with Canada which allow for the exchange of personnel, resources and technology,” he said.

“This support has been reciprocated into Australia over a number of years since 2000.

“FRNSW are ready and prepared to assist firefighters from other countries across the world when needed.

“I am pleased that FRNSW will provide much-needed assistance to our Canadian counterparts as well as have the opportunity to work with other highly skilled international specialists.

“Our deployment in the region will also provide our firefighters with valuable new learning experiences.”