​New Rural Fire Service headquarters unveiled

21 November 2018

The state’s capability to respond to bush fires has received a major boost today with the official unveiling of the new state-of-the-art Rural Fire Service (RFS) headquarters, Minister for Emergency Services Troy Grant said.

Mr Grant said the new $21.5 million facility would bolster modern firefighting operations, and includes capabilities such as live fire response information, intelligence sharing, digital mapping, as well as public information and media broadcasting resources.

“The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government is committed to delivering the best resources for our emergency services so they can continue to do what they do best,” Mr Grant said.
“Our 74,000 RFS volunteers do an incredible job protecting our local communities each day, and this multi-million dollar centre will go a long way in supporting those efforts.”

Mr Grant said the headquarters would also enhance inter-agency coordination with the State Operations Centre, located within the facility, another crucial resource for major emergencies.

“The State Operations Centre can accommodate more than 200 multi-agency personnel from other firefighting agencies, as well as the NSW Police, Department of Defence, NSW Ambulance and Bureau of Meteorology working alongside one another,” Mr Grant said.

There is also a secondary operations centre to allow for simultaneous major events, as well as the State Emergency Service (SES) Metro Zone office housing up to 30 officers.

“The design of the headquarters acknowledges the important role the media play in communicating warnings and other crucial public information, with numerous rooms available to accommodate major outlets so they can broadcast information efficiently,” Mr Grant said.

NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said the new headquarters would serve firefighters well today, and into the future.

“We’ve been able to take the lessons learned out of operating in the former location and integrate them in to this new, cutting edge facility,” Commissioner Fitzsimmons said.

“From here we will be able to effectively co-ordinate the management of bush fires across NSW, supporting all our firefighters from NSW RFS, Fire & Rescue NSW, National Parks & Wildlife Service and Forestry Corporation.”

Construction of the headquarters began in April last year, and concluded this month. The facility includes 180 screens, 640km of data cables and 5,200 data access points.