Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions - Staff

Current as at 16 October 2020

What do I do if I have symptoms of Coronavirus COVID-19?

Refer to the NSW RFS COVID-19 Response Action Process at This includes notification of suspected or confirmed cases. You should follow the advice and any instruction provided by medical personnel.

Can I work from home?

Alterantive working arrangements are in place for some staff. Check with your manager on what arrangements apply to your team or location.

What is the advice for NSW RFS members who need to travel?

If you are travelling within NSW, there are steps you should take to protect yourself and those around you. This includes:

  • Do not travel if you’re feeling unwell.
  • Maintain a high standard of hygiene, such as washing hands regularly or using hand sanitizer, and covering coughs or sneezes.
  • In a vehicle, set air-conditioning to use fresh air and not recirculate. Consider keeping the windows down for airflow.
  • Avoid direct contact with others.
  • If you stop, such as refuelling or using a bathroom, wash or sanitize your hands before re-entering the vehicle.
  • After travelling, ensure the vehicle is cleaned. Do not leave rubbish such as used tissues, bottles or food scraps in vehicles. Check the Fact Sheet on NSW RFS Site and Appliance Cleaning.

Frequently Asked Questions - Volunteers

What do I do if I have symptoms of Coronavirus COVID-19?

Refer to the NSW RFS COVID-19 Response Action Plan. This includes notification of suspected or confirmed cases. You should follow the advice and any instruction provided by medical personnel.

What precautions should be taken when attending incidents?

Normal PPC and PPE should be worn.

Where there is close interaction with members of the community, such as the provision of first aid, additional precautions should be taken including full PPE/PPC (including nitrole gloves and goggles), surgical gloves and a face mask.

Check the Fact Sheet on attending incidents.

Frequently Asked Questions - Equipment

What additional precautions do I need to take if using CABA?

CABA operators should avoid where possible, the sharing of CABA masks. The following enhanced process is suitable for both individual and multi user masks.

The NSW RFS supplied CABA cleaning solution (Trigene Advance) is an appropriate disinfectant for a CABA mask during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Once an incident has been controlled and firefighters have returned to the station, the CABA equipment needs to be cleaned thoroughly and hygienically.

The mask and the exhalation valve need to be cleaned particularly well. In order to clean the whole face mask properly it needs to be removed from the CABA set.

The whole mask then needs to be thoroughly washed, rinsed, dried and disinfected before it can be refitted to the CABA set. The procedure for this operation is outlined below.

Warning: Do not immerse whistle warning unit or demand valve in water

  1. Hold the mask in your left hand with the visor facing you. The demand valve should be on the right with the airline hose facing you.
  2. Unlock the demand valve by lifting the red latch at the back of the demand valve, opposite the airline hose. Then turn either the mask or demand valve, it will only go one way, until the mask and demand valve disengage.
  3. Wash with warm soapy water using laundry soap, not detergent.
  4. Rinse the mask with running water (if unavailable, two buckets of water, initial rinse and final rinse, will do).
  5. Drain the mask of water by turning the face mask seal inside out and holding it upside down while shaking. You may have to do this several times from different sides of the mask.
  6. Allow the mask to dry naturally, out of direct heat or sunlight.
  7. Spray/wipe down the mask with the NSW RFS supplied CABA disinfectant (Trigene Advance) and leave to dry.
  8. When clean and dry, reassemble the CABA set, conduct a pre-use check and return the set to its stowage point on the appliance. Also check any support equipment when you’re restowing CABA sets, such as BACO equipment, guidelines and torches.

Frequently Asked Questions - Cleaning

What precautions should I take when using Alcohol-based Hand Sanitiser / Cleanser?

  1. Preferred hand hygiene is to wash hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and when this isn’t possible, an alcohol-based hand sanitiser can be used.  Alcohol-based hand sanitisers contain flammable liquid and release flammable vapours when applied to the skin. After applying hand sanitiser, ensure that your hands are completely dry before performing tasks to avoid a fire risk. Remember to keep hand sanitiser away from heat, hot surfaces, sparks (including sources of static electricity), open flames, and other ignition sources as these could cause the sanitiser liquid or vapour to ignite.
  2. Avoid eye contact with hand sanitiser.
  3. If you have a skin reaction to a particular hand sanitiser then discontinue use and seek treatment where necessary.
  4. Refer to the hand sanitiser safety data sheet for further health and safety information.