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Fast facts

About the NSW Rural Fire Service

The NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) is the world's largest volunteer fire service. Our members provide fire and emergency services to approximately 95 percent of NSW. NSW RFS members attend a range of incidents and activities:

  • Bush and grass fires
  • House and structure fires
  • Storm damage
  • Search and rescue
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Community education
  • Bush fire mitigation.

The responsibilities of the NSW RFS are set out under the Rural Fires Act 1997.

Our vision and mission

To provide a world standard of excellence in the provision of a community-based fire and emergency service. To protect the community and our environment we will minimise the impact of fire and other emergencies by providing the highest standards of training, community education, prevention and operational capability.

Our values

  • Mutual respect
  • Adaptability and resourcefulness
  • One team, many players, one purpose
  • Integrity and trust
  • Support, friendship, camaraderie
  • Community and environment
  • Knowledge and learning.

Our organisation

Brigades 1,996
Local Government Areas 110
NSW RFS Districts 45
Area Commands7
Headquarters 1

Our membership

Area North Eastern8,251
Area Greater Sydney 14,651
Area North Western 7,653
Area Hunter8,558
Area Western14,977
Area South Western10,311
Area South Eastern12,732
Total volunteers 76,319

Note: dual members in different Area Commands are counted in both Areas, but counted once for calculating the total volunteer figure.

Our staff

Total staff (FTE) 965

Approximately 58 percent of NSW RFS staff are, or have been, a NSW RFS volunteer.

The incidents we attend

In 2019/20, NSW RFS members attended more than 25,000 incidents across the state.

Bush/grass fires attended by NSW RFS 9,112
Structural fires 1,316
Motor vehicle fires 1,659
Motor vehicle accidents 4,239
Investigation 4,126
Refuse fires 592
Spillages 661
Assist other agencies 1,480
Flood 128
Other 3,157
Total 26,523

2,340 controlled burns and pile burns were attended in Rural Fire Districts in 2019/20.

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