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 8 January 2021.

Impacted locations

Current arrangements

The NSW Government has updated restrictions in the Greater Sydney Area to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

From 12:01am Sunday 10 January 2021, the northern parts of the Northern Beaches Local Government Area will be subject to the same restrictions as the remainder of Greater Sydney.

As a result, from Sunday 10 January 2021, the following arrangements will be in place:

For clarity, and to ensure consistency across teams, the NSW RFS Greater Sydney Area Command includes Hornsby Ku-ring-gai, The Hills, Northern Beaches, Hawkesbury, Cumberland, Blue Mountains, Macarthur, Sutherland, Illawarra, and Southern Highlands districts.

Until 12:01am Sunday 10 January 2021, the Northern Beaches District will remain at NSW RFS COVID Response Level 3.

Mandatory wearing of masks

All members in the Greater Sydney geographic region, which includes the Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Wollongong areas, are reminded that masks are mandatory in a range of settings including shopping, public or shared transport, indoor entertainment, places of worship and hair and beauty premises in the Greater Sydney region (including Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Wollongong areas)..

Members are strongly encouraged to wear a face mask when in an RFS capacity in a public setting.

When attending any of these locations in a NSW RFS capacity, including during incidents, face masks must be worn in accordance with the Public Health Order.

While there is no specific requirement for members to wear a face mask at other locations such as NSW RFS sites, members should continue to exercise a high degree of caution by practicing hand sanitisation and physical distancing. Where physical distancing is not possible, or you're representing the RFS in a public setting, you are strongly encouraged to wear a mask.

Monitor for updates

The NSW RFS is continuing to monitor NSW Health advice and will provide updates as required, and is assessing the transition to the Service NSW app for site check-ins. Information will be provided on this in the future.

If you are feeling unwell, do not attend NSW RFS locations or activities. Stay home. Get tested.

The NSW RFS State Operations Centre (StateOps area) is accessible only to essential personnel.

Current Advice for Staff and Volunteers

Operational Arrangements for 2020/21 Bush Fire Season

A COVID-19 plan has been drafted by the NSW RFS to provide guidance and allow for appropriate operational response throughout the 2020/21 bush fire season whilst ensuring all personnel remain COVIDSafe.

NSW RFS members should familiarise themselves with the 2020//21 Bush Fire Season Operational Arrangements - COVID 19.

This document outlines the steps to be taken to help reduce the potential impact of COVID 19 on operational activity.

This plan was drafted in consultation with and supported by other firefighting authorities and will be regularly updated as the situation and restrictions change.

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.

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.

Staying safe at NSW RFS locations and activities

Consistent with current restrictions, meetings, training and events may be held, provided COVIDSafe practices continue to be in place.

COVIDSafe practices mean, where there is a NSW RFS activity or event conducted:

  • If you are feeling unwell, you are not to attend a NSW RFS activity or location. If you’re unwell, stay home and get tested.
  • Consider whether the event can be held remotely to limit face-to-face interaction, especially if there’s likely to be large groups or people who may be at higher risk of serious infection from COVID-19.
  • If the activity or event is being held face-to-face, follow the current community restrictions on physical distancing; including limits on the number of people allowed to gather in a space and the number of people per square metre in an indoor area.

The NSW RFS also encourages members to download the COVIDSafe app.

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'.

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.