The NSW RFS encourages media personnel to attend our incidents. This assists us in delivering important safety information to the community and also shows the valuable work of our volunteers.
However it is a requirement that any media wishing to attend a bush or grass fire incident are appropriately trained in safe working practices around bush fires. It is also a requirement that media personnel are wearing appropriate Personal Protective Clothing. This is for the safety of media personnel and our firefighters.
Media bush fire safety training
**Please note changes to media accreditation training this year, as detailed below**
The NSW RFS regularly conducts media bush fire safety training. This program is conducted annually across NSW and is offered to media personnel such as journalists, photographers, presenters and producers.
The NSW RFS training program consists of a two-hour training session, covering basic fire awareness, safety and survival information for those covering bush fires. It also covers the management of bush fires in NSW and provides useful information for reporting on fires.
At the conclusion of each training session, a short theory-based assessment is held. Successful participants are issued with a NSW RFS Media Accreditation Card (MAC) which must be shown and held to enter a NSW RFS-controlled fireground. The MAC does not guarantee entry to a fireground - in some instances it may be too dangerous.
Anyone wishing to undertake media bush fire safety training must have a professional interest in reporting on bush fires for a legitimate media organisation, for the dissemination of public information and warnings.
Upcoming training sessions
Media training sessions are held annually.
Due to the current coronavirus health situation, the NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) will modify its delivery of bush fire safety training and accreditation of media personnel this year.
There will now be no in-person training sessions offered with only online opportunities for those requiring accreditation.
We understand many have recently RSVP’d to in-person sessions across NSW, however these have now all been cancelled to keep everyone as safe as possible, understanding that some newsrooms and workplaces already have some limitations to attending meetings and events.
Media personnel whose accreditation expires this year or last, can apply for a one year extension upon completing a short online tutorial and questionnaire. This can be arranged by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with your full name, employer, role, phone number and email.
A number of online Microsoft Team Meeting sessions will be offered for new accreditation or those who have not been approved for extension.
These sessions will require a booking. Further information and session booking details are online here.
Media personnel must be authorised by their employer to attend a training session. Fill in this editable Authorisation Form and upload when booking your online session. Freelancers must have a commissioning editor sign the form or provide evidence of recent media commissions to NSW RFS Media Services.
|ONLINE SESSION TIMES|
|Monday 31 August||1:00pm|
|Monday 31 August||9:00am|
|Tuesday 1 September||9:00am|
|Wednesday 2 September||1:00pm|
|Friday 4 September||9:00am|
Personal Protective Clothing for media
It is a requirement that media attending NSW RFS bush and grass fire incidents are wearing appropriate Personal Protective Clothing. This is for the safety of yourself and for our own personnel.
Any media found on a fireground not wearing the above clothing and equipment may be removed from the fireground for their own safety. Media personnel may also be requested to return their accreditation card.
The full kit of media Personal Protective Clothing consists of:
- Proban-treated yellow media wildfire jacket and pants
- Yellow helmet with the word 'Media' on the side
- Sturdy, high ankle footwear
- A face mask.
Media attending bush fires should also ensure they have enough drinking water, a first aid kit and sunscreen.
Please note that the NSW RFS does not sell or provide this equipment. It is a responsibility of media outlets to provide this equipment for staff. Information on how to get measurements for media personal protective equipment and costs for purchasing can be found in our document Measurements and Costs for Media Personal Protective Clothing.
This equipment and clothing can be purchased by contacting the supplier, Stewart & Heaton Clothing directly on (03) 8480 9700 or by visiting their website.