On 1 September 1997, the NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) was established by an Act of Parliament (the Rural Fires Act 1997) as the successor to the Bush Fires Act, redefining the world's largest fire service and building on a century of experience in protecting some of the most fire-prone areas on earth.
Today the NSW RFS comprises almost 2,000 rural fire brigades with a total volunteer membership of more than 76,000. In addition, over 900 staff members are employed to manage the day-to-day operations of the Service at District Fire Control Centres, Area Commands, Customer Service Centres, Operational and Mitigation Support Service bases and Headquarters at Sydney Olympic Park. You can see more detail in our Structure Chart.
Although fighting fires and protecting the community from emergencies is the most visible aspect of the NSW RFS, the Service has many responsibilities as the leading agency for bush fire management and mitigation in NSW.
The administration of the NSW RFS is part of the larger NSW Public Sector. Our Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is the Commissioner. Employment of staff members is governed by the Government Sector Employment Act 2013 (the Act), the Crown Employees (Rural Fire Service 2009) Award (the Award) and the Crown Employees (Public Service Conditions of Employment) Award 2009.
The NSW RFS is located in over 150 centres right across NSW. The majority of these centres are located in Districts. However, we have seven Area Commands (Hunter, Western, Greater Sydney, North Western, South Western, North Eastern and South Eastern), three Customer Service Centres (Glendenning, Coffs Harbour and Batemans Bay) and 20 Operational and Mitigation Support Service bases plus our Headquarters at Sydney Olympic Park.
The NSW RFS employs a range of people with a variety of skills and varying backgrounds. Essentially, the work carried out at Regional and District levels includes Membership (Brigade management, Learning and Development, OHS&R, staffing etc.), Operations (response, hazard management, mitigation planning, community engagement etc), Infrastructure (brigade stations, fleet, communications, IT etc.) and Management. Our corporate areas include positions in the areas of environmental planning and assessment, development control, corporate planning, research, finance, information technology, volunteer support, human resources, engineering and executive services, just to name a few.