$90 million of donations supporting volunteers and NSW communities
Published Date: 03 Jun 2020
Last fire season was unprecedented and so was the response from the community.
Thanks to the support of the community across NSW, Australia and the world, the NSW Rural Fire Service, predominantly through the NSW RFS and Brigades Donations Trust, received a significant amount of public donations – a show of support for the volunteers who gave up their time to help others.
We thank everyone for your support and want to provide you with an update on how your donations are being put to good use.
The Trust has been working to identify worthwhile projects that will benefit volunteers and the community, in consultation with members and the NSW RFS.
The Trust has already made $20 million of funds available to volunteer brigades across NSW to help them with equipment, training and resources that help them deliver services in their local community.
And now, the Trust has allocated an additional $70 million of funds to support important initiatives that will help volunteer brigades respond to incidents safely, and provide welfare and support to our members.
The additional funds have been allocated for programs including modernising the way we respond fire trucks to incidents – from how our volunteers can register their availability, to responding and getting back to their station.
The funds will also support new or improved Personal Protective Equipment like helmets and respiratory protection for volunteers – to ensure our members can work safely and get home to their families.
There is also funding to support the health and wellbeing of our volunteers, and to establish an ongoing welfare program to ensure when the worst happens to our volunteers their families are supported into the future.
NSW RFS and Brigades Donations Trust chair Andrew Macdonald said the community can be confident the donations are being put to good use.
“NSW RFS volunteers went above and beyond across the season, and so did the community.
“These donations will be put to good use to ensure our volunteers can do their roles safely and effectively, and some of these programs will revolutionise the way our brigades deliver their services to the community.”
NSW RFS Commissioner Rob Rogers said through the ongoing work of the Trust, which has responsibility for the management of the funds, the community will benefit.
“By supporting our brigades, we’re supporting the community by delivering a high standard of fire and emergency service every day.
“Importantly, the donated funds do not replace normal sources of funding such as Government but they do accelerate the delivery of major projects to support volunteers and communities which may otherwise never happen.
“We’re also making sure, wherever possible, we’re spending funds in local communities to support the businesses and industries that employ and support our members”.