NSW Rural Fire Service


Over 100 years ago the residents of the south-western New South Wales township of Berrigan formed Australia’s first official bush fire brigade. The residents joined together as firefighters for mutual protection against the ever-present threat of bush fires.

On 1 September 1997, The NSW Rural Fire Service (NSWRFS) was established by an act of Parliament as the successor to the first bush fire brigade, redefining the world’s largest fire service and building on a century of experience in protecting some of the most fire-prone areas on earth.

Today the Service comprises over 2,000 volunteer rural fire brigades with a total membership of just over 70,000. In addition, salaried staff are employed to manage the day to day operations of the Service at Headquarters, regional offices and district fire control centres.

(Extract from NSW Rural Fire Service: http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/dsp_content.cfm?cat_id=1003)



The Rural Fire Service (RFS) is comprised of 2,094 brigades and has a total volunteer membership of approximately 70,000.

In addition, we have about 700 staff situated at Headquarters, regional offices and Fire Control Centres around NSW.

The RFS Headquarters, located at Lidcombe, comprises five Directorates, each headed by a Director.

They are:

  • Executive Services
  • Operational Services
  • Regional Services
  • Infrastructure Services
  • Membership & Strategic Services

NSW is divided into four regions, each staffed by a Regional Manager and personnel in the functional areas of:

  • administration
  • finance
  • community safety
  • learning and development
  • operations.

At the district or local government level, Fire Control Officers are appointed to manage the day-to-day affairs of brigades.

The role of rural fire brigades encompasses far more than bush fires. Members are regularly called upon to attend road accidents, assist in search and rescue operations, and storm and flood recovery. The RFS is responsible for structural firefighting in more than 1,200 towns and villages.

(Extract from NSW Rural Fire Service: http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/dsp_content.cfm?cat_id=1129)

NSW Rural Fire Service Brigades

NSW Rural Fire Service Vehicles

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