Committees and strategic alliances
State Emergency Management Committee and State Rescue Board
The State Emergency Management Committee (SEMC) is responsible for identifing emergency resources from both within and outside the State, and to plan how they will be allocated and coordinated.
Fire & Rescue NSW (FRNSW) contributes to the SEMC when it is responsible as the combat or lead agency for:
- Fires in the urban domain
- Land-based and inland waterways hazardous materials incidents
- Specified general land rescue
- Urban search and rescue (USAR), and
- Chemical, biological and radiological (CBR) incidents.
FRNSW works closely with the NSW Police Force, Health NSW, the Ambulance Service of NSW and the Australian Defence Forces in developing policy and procedures and implementing training exercises to enhance CBR and USAR capability. This is to ensure interoperability at any incidents of terrorist attack. FRNSW is a member of the NSW Government's Chief Executive Officers Counter Terrorism Committee and it contributes to the Cabinet Counter Terrorism Subcommittee.
Fire Services Joint Standing Committee
The Fire Services Joint Standing Committee Act 1998 [external link] enables FRNSW and the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) to plan and implement coordinated urban and rural fire services.
The committee provides a forum for consultation and cooperation between FRNSW, the RFS, Fire Brigade Employees' Union and the Rural Fire Service Association to:
- Develop strategic plans for service delivery and infrastructure
- Review jurisdictional boundaries
- Minimise duplication of services delivered to the community, and
- Minimise duplication of training activities and community education programs.
Bush Fire Coordinating Committee
The Bush Fire Coordinating Committee, established under the Rural Fires Act 1997 [external link], provides a forum for consultation and cooperation between FRNSW, RFS, State Forests, National Parks and Wildlife Service, Local Government Association, Shires Association, Rural Fire Service Association, Police Force, Department of Conservation and Environment, Nature Conservation Council, NSW Farmers Association and Department of Community Services to:
- Plan bushfire prevention and coordinate bushfire fighting
- Advise the Commissioner of the RFS on bushfire prevention, mitigation and coordinated bushfire suppression
- Report to the Minister for Emergency Services on any matters relating to the prevention and suppression of bushfires
- Enter into arrangements with any public authority concerning the reduction of bushfire hazards
- Give consideration to the principles of ecologically sustainable development described in section 6 (2) of the Protection of the Environment Administration Act 1991 [external link] in undertaking any activity that affects the environment, and
- Establish Bush Fire Management Committees within rural fire districts or other relevant parts of NSW.
Mutual Aid Agreements
Mutual Aid Agreements at a local level further enhance interagency communication and community safety. They enable sharing of resources and the providing of better services to the community.
Memorandums of Understanding
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) exists with the RFS to ensure a complementary and comprehensive fire service for the community of NSW. It recognises the complementary urban and rural focus of the respective services and the FRNSW's additional rescue and statewide hazmat roles.
MOUs are also in place with the:
- Australian Capital Territory Fire Brigade [external link] concerning urban search and rescue training resources
- Airservices Australia [external link], for FRNSW to respond to emergency incidents in or near Sydney Airport
- Ambulance Service of NSW [external link], for FRNSW to help in preserving life at incidents and to recognise the Ambulance service as the first point of contact with the health system
- Commonwealth Department of Finance and Deregulation [external link] for FRNSW to provide fire services to federal agencies
- CSIRO [external link] Fire Science and Technology Laboratory to provide a framework for co-operation and collaborative research
- NSW Environment Protection Authority [external link] to better protect the community and the environment from hazmat incidents
- NSW Police [external link] to outline joint operation with FRNSW for counter-terrorism and rescue incidents
- Open Training and Education Network [external link] to help FRNSW deliver competency-based training
- Oberon Shire Council [external link] and CSR Limited [external link], for FRNSW to provide support at incidents involving pine plantations
- Royal Australian Navy [external link] to improve efficiency and certainty in responding to fire or hazardous material incidents involving Naval ships and establishments
- Rural Fire Service [external link], with the Singapore Fire and Civil Defence Force, covering exchanges of information on firefighting issues
- Shell Refining Australia [external link] for cooperation, fire prevention and joint operations involving emergency incidents at the Clyde refinery site, Rosehill
- Snowy Hydro Limited [external link], for FRNSW to provide support for incidents at power generators and associated sites
- State Emergency Service [external link], for FRNSW to help them with initial call-handling and dispatch for storm damage, and to provide boats to the FRNSW to help us recover hazardous materials during floods
- Sydney Institute of Technology [external link] to help FRNSW in training and vocational development, and
- NSW Department of Transport [external link] to provide fire safety infrastructure information during the planning and development stages of new transit systems including underground road and rail systems.