Coronavirus

This page provides information for NSW RFS staff and volunteers. For community information about COVID-19, check the NSW Government website.

Monitor this page for any changes to advice. This page will be updated as information changes.

This information was last reviewed and updated on 23 September 2021.

Current Arrangements

Restrictions

Stay at home orders are in place for a number of areas in NSW. Check www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19 for the latest restrictions.

There have been changes to stay at home orders in some regional areas. Check the latest on the NSW Government website.

The NSW RFS has reviewed and updated its COVID-19 Response Levels.

All members should read and understand the current restrictions on the NSW Government website, including additional restrictions which apply in some local government areas.

Travel Registrations

If you are living or working in an identified Area Of Concern, you may be required to register your travel.

There are some exemptions, such as if you are responding to an emergency or your role is directly involved in the management of emergency response.

Information for members is available on One NSW RFS.

Vaccination Requirements

Authorised workers living in an identified area of concern and who leave their LGA for work purposes will need to be vaccinated or have a medical exemption.

Information for members is available on One NSW RFS.

Testing

Rapid Antigen Testing is now in place at some NSW RFS locations. NSW RFS members can learn more about this on One NSW RFS.

Permitted Activities

The NSW RFS COVID-19 Response Levels provide guidance on the activities which may be conducted, based on current health advice.

Check the current District COVID-19 Response levels here

Limited activities are permitted at COVID-19 Response level 3. These include emergency response and activities which are critical to preparing for the upcoming fire season, such as mitigation works and training to maintain operational capability.

The following guidance is provided to members about essential activities and functions which can be carried out, in line with current restrictions:

Areas at COVID-Response Level 3

Outside of these areas

Critical training and maintenance to maintain firefighting preparedness and capability

Examples: Training that is critical to maintaining firefighting preparedness (eg emergency response would be compromised if it did not go ahead)

With COVID Safe Measures

With COVID Safe Measures

Other training

Examples: Routine training that is not related to firefighting preparedness

X

With COVID Safe Measures

Mitigation activities

Examples: Hazard reduction activities  with COVID-Safe controls in place (eg reduced crew sizes, distancing, masks)

With COVID Safe Measures

With COVID Safe Measures

Community safety programs directly related to mitigation and response

Examples: Community Protection Plans, Neighbourhood Safer Places

With COVID Safe Measures

With COVID Safe Measures

Community safety programs for at-risk communities

Examples: AIDER program, face to face Get Ready Weekend activities (in accordance with the Get Ready Weekend COVID Safe Plan)

X

With COVID Safe Measures

General community engagement programs

Examples: Street meetings, stalls, local workshops

X

X

Face to face non-essential meetings

Examples: Brigade/business/management meetings. Online meetings preferred.

X

Conduct meetings online

X

Conduct meetings online

Staff in critical functions

Functions that have been explicitly identified and approved as critical functions, including District roles

With COVID Safe Measures, including rotational arrangements

With COVID Safe Measures, including rotational arrangements

Staff in other functions

Where staff have not been explicitly identified and approved as critical functions

X

Attendance at work location restricted to critical functions only

With COVID Safe Measures

Emergency response

Responding to incidents in an emergency event

With COVID Safe Measures

With COVID Safe Measures

COVID Safe measures including increased cleaning and sanitisation, restrictions on group sizes, physical distancing, QR Code check-ins, masks and temperature checks where required. If you are unwell, do not attend NSW RFS activities.

The NSW RFS will continue to monitor and update this information as required, or as conditions and restrictions change

Additional information

  • Do not attend incidents or NSW RFS locations if you are unwell. Stay home and get tested. Check testing locations here.
  • Members are again reminded about the increasing importance of vaccination. The NSW Government is working to prioritise vaccination in areas affected by COVID-19 outbreaks.
  • All members are reminded to check www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19 for the latest on restrictions which apply in your area including testing and the wearing of masks.
  • It is everyone’s responsibility to comply with the Public Health Order, the list of authorised workers, and any exemptions which may apply for Service activities.
  • Support materials, including advice on working remotely, is available at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/connect
Current Advice for Staff and Volunteers

COVID-19 Response Levels

The NSW RFS has established COVID-19 Response Levels to provide clearer advice to members as the COVID-19 situation changes. Check the current District COVID-19 Response levels here.

State Operations will monitor public alerts regarding COVID-19 outbreaks and may assign a COVID-19 Response Level, based on health advice.

The Response Level may apply to a NSW RFS site or location, or all NSW RFS locations in a District or LGA, depending on an assessment of health advice.

The Response Levels outline actions for staff and volunteers in the area or location identified.

Responding to incidents

When responding to incidents, please consider the steps in the fact Sheet 'First Responder Attendance at Incident where a person has suspected or confirmed COVID-19'.

These arrangements are in place for operational response across the bush fire season.

COVID-19 Vaccinations

The NSW RFS reminds all members about the availability of COVID-19 vaccinations.

Vaccination is strongly encouraged in light of the current cases of COVID-19 in the community, and to assist with maintaining operational capability across the coming fire season.

Vaccination is available at a range of locations including vaccination clinics, doctors surgeries and pharmacies. For areas under current stay-at-home provisions, getting vaccinated is a reasonable excuse for leaving home.

Vaccination is not mandatory, however all members are strongly encouraged to consider vaccination and discuss any concerns with their doctor.

For NSW RFS staff, leave provisions may apply when receiving a vaccine, in accordance with the NSW Government circular.

Links

Notification of COVID-19 cases or suspected cases for NSW RFS members

The NSW RFS COVID-19 Response Action Process outlines the process for all NSW RFS members regarding Coronavirus notifications.

This includes notifications of members with symptoms, confirmed cases, and for members who return from overseas and are required to self isolate.

Importantly, if you are feeling unwell, do not attend NSW RFS facilities, activities or incidents.

Download the NSW RFS COVID-19 Response Action Process. This document may change as the situation changes.

Fact Sheets and Materials
Frequently Asked Questions

A set of Frequently Asked Questions is available here. These will be updated regularly.

Advice for visitors to NSW RFS facilities
  • Only essential visitors will be permitted to NSW RFS facilities, except in emergency situations.
  • The NSW RFS recommends alternatives to face-to-face meetings, including teleconferences or videoconferencing.
  • If you are scheduled to have a meeting at a NSW RFS location, contact the meeting organiser for advice and possible alternatives.
Resources
Links