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Media training

The RFS encourages media personnel to attend our incidents. This assists us in delivering important safety information to the community and also shows the valuable work of our volunteers.

However it is a requirement that any media wishing to attend a bush or grass fire incident are appropriately trained in safe working practices around bush fires. It is also a requirement that media personnel are wearing appropriate Personal Protective Clothing. This is for the safety of media personnel and our firefighters.

Media bush fire safety training

The RFS conducts media bush fire safety training on an annual basis. This program is conducted across NSW and is offered to media personnel such as journalists, photographers, presenters and producers.

The RFS training program consists of a two-hour training session, covering basic fire awareness, safety and survival information for those covering bush fires. It also covers the management of bush fires in NSW and provides useful information for reporting on fires.

At the conclusion of each training session, a short theory-based assessment is held. Successful participants are issued with a RFS Media Accreditation Card (MAC) which must be shown and held to enter a NSW RFS-controlled fireground. The MAC does not guarantee entry to a fireground - in some instances it may be too dangerous.

Anyone wishing to undertake media bush fire safety training must have a professional interest in reporting on bush fires for a legitimate media organisation, for the dissemination of public information and warnings.

Freelancers must have approval from a commissioning editor (or similar), or provide evidence of recent commissions to the RFS media unit in order to obtain accreditation. This media training authorisation form must be completed prior to attending a session.

Training sessions

The next available sessions will be during our annual in-person training schedule, held in many areas of regional NSW and Sydney. At this stage these will be held throughout August 2024.

Stay updated about accreditation training by joining the media distribution list.

Personal Protective Clothing for media

It is a requirement that media attending NSW RFS bush and grass fire incidents are wearing appropriate Personal Protective Clothing. This is for the safety of yourself and for our own personnel.

Any media found on a fireground not wearing the above clothing and equipment may be removed from the fireground for their own safety. Media personnel may also be requested to return their accreditation card.

The full kit of media Personal Protective Clothing consists of:

  • Proban-treated yellow media wildfire jacket and pants
  • Yellow helmet with the word 'Media' on the side
  • Gloves
  • Goggles
  • Sturdy, high ankle footwear
  • A face mask.

Media attending bush fires should also ensure they have enough drinking water, a first aid kit and sunscreen.

Please note that the RFS does not sell or provide this equipment. It is a responsibility of media outlets to provide this equipment for staff. Information on how to get measurements for media personal protective equipment and costs for purchasing can be found in our document Measurements and Costs for Media Personal Protective Clothing. Media Training - NSW Rural Fire Service

This equipment and clothing can be purchased by contacting the supplier, Stewart & Heaton Clothing directly on (03) 8480 9700 or by visiting their website.