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The State Rescue Board of NSW

The State Emergency and Rescue Management Act 1989  (SERM Act) provides for the establishment of the State Rescue Board of NSW with a structure and system for the management of rescue at local and regional level.

The principal function of the State Rescue Board  is to ensure the efficient and effective maintenance of rescue services throughout NSW. The State Rescue Board carries out its responsibilities through the heads of the agencies that provide  accredited rescue units and through the NSW Police Force, which is responsible for the coordination of rescue operations within NSW. 

The State Rescue Board is, in the exercise of its functions, subject to the control and direction of the Minister for Emergency Services.


State Rescue Board Membership

  • Section 43 (1) of the SERM Act provides that the Board is to consist of not less than eight members, being:
    the State Emergency Operations Controller
  • the Commissioner of the State Emergency Service
    a member of the NSW Police Force Senior Executive Service nominated by the Commissioner of Police
  • the Commissioner of Fire and Rescue NSW
  • the Commissioner of the NSW Rural Fire Service
  • the Chief Executive of the Ambulance Service NSW
  • the Commissioner of the NSW Volunteer Rescue Association Inc.
  • the Commissioner of Volunteer Marine Rescue NSW
  • the heads of any other volunteer rescue agencies approved for the time being by the Minister.

Section 43 (2) of the SERM Act provides that one of the members of the Board is to be appointed as Chairperson by the Minister.


Particular duties of the Board

The State Rescue Board is required to:

  • develop policies to promote the provision of comprehensive, balanced and coordinated rescue services throughout the State
  • make recommendations to the Minister on policy matters relating to the provision of rescue services within the State
    review planning for single incident rescues within the State
  • review and disseminate to relevant agencies technical information relating to rescue operations
  • ensure proper liaison and coordination with Federal and other State organisations in connection with rescue services
  • provide advice and recommendations on the compatibility of rescue equipment, including communications equipment
  • make recommendations to the Minister on the accreditation of rescue units (both permanent and volunteer) for participation in rescue operations
  • make recommendations to the Minister on levels of Government support (including financial assistance under section 60) to volunteer organisations providing rescue services
  • assist in the conduct of training exercises in rescue operations involving the various agencies concerned
    monitor the training standards of the permanent and volunteer services in rescue
  • review proposals for amendment of legislation relating to rescue and make recommendations to the Minister
  • make reports or recommendations to the Minister on any matter referred to the Board by the Minister.