Tag Archives: New South Wales

New South Wales | I Am Fire – New NSW RFS awareness and preparedness campaign


“I Am Fire” is the theme of a new bush fire public awareness campaign launched by the NSW RFS.

The campaign will be seen and heard on television, radio, online and in newspapers from early September across the bush fire season.

Here’s a sample of one of the television advertisements:

The campaign is in response to research conducted by the NSW RFS and Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre following the 2013 NSW bush fires, including those in the Blue Mountains which destroyed more than 200 homes.

The research found that while people have a general appreciation for the threat of fire in their area, the majority of people don’t personalise the risk, thinking it won’t happen to them. That’s where the idea of “I Am Fire” came from – personalising fire so people see the threat is very real.

The research also found that many people believe their home will withstand a bush fire, even if they did nothing to prepare or protect it; and that many people think it’s too hard, costly or time consuming to prepare. That’s why the campaign focuses on the simple things you can do to better protect you and your family.

The campaign is supported by a new website – www.myfireplan.com.au – which provides simple tips, and online videos.


The TV commercials were filmed over two days in August 2015 in The Hills area in north-western Sydney, with local volunteers providing assistance. As it turned out, the day was the coldest Sydney day in five years – tough going when filming commercials about bush fires.

The commercials were filmed at high speed – around 200 frames per second, allowing incredible slow motion footage to be used.


The “I Am Fire” Prepare Act Survive public awareness campaign has been developed by the NSW RFS in conjunction with JWT. The voice you hear on the TV commercials is Australian actor Brendan Cowell.

The campaign will run each bush fire season for three years. It follows previous NSW RFS campaigns including the Prepare Act Survive campaign developed in 2009 which focused on new bush fire danger ratings, alert levels and the Bush Fire Survival Plan. In 2012, the “Planning To Make A Plan Is Not A Plan” campaign was launched. Each campaign is joint badged with the NSW RFS and Fire & Rescue NSW.

New South Wales | Port Macquarie SES unit competes in ARRO event

11754332_873564302723049_572753992524259459_oOn Sunday 26 July, Commissioner Adam Dent congratulated NSW SES team members who competed in the Australasian Rescue Challenge in Alice Springs.

The Australasian Road Rescue Organisation (ARRO) is the peak body in Australasia for the development and exchange of information, knowledge and skills in road rescue. Its membership is made up of individuals and emergency service organisations that assist people at road crashes every day, such as Fire Services, State Emergency Services and Ambulance Services.

NSW SES Port Macquarie Unit participated in the event which was held over several days. The team achieved excellent results completing a variety of scenarios and challenges including the ‘trauma challenge’ and the ‘entrapped challenge’. Commissioner Adam Dent was there to observe and give support and encouragement to the members throughout the event.

Scenarios completed include:

  • Entrapped Rescue
  • Controlled Rescue
  • Time Critical Rescue
  • Trauma Challenge A
  • Trauma Challenge B
 Unit Members Representing NSW SES – Port Macquarie Unit (group Shot from Left to Right) Scott Witchard, Michael Brumby, Michael Ward, Time Richard, Kevin Sherwood and Sereena Amos
Unit Members Representing NSW SES – Port Macquarie Unit (group Shot from Left to Right)
Scott Witchard, Michael Brumby, Michael Ward, Time Richard, Kevin Sherwood and Sereena Amos


New South Wales | Bailey Makes The Right Call to 000 and helps save his mom’s life

Baileymed-EA8737A0-DC89-4F4B-B11E-AF630DA5CC2E-0-300x200Bailey, 8, dialed Triple Zero (000) and became mum’s hero

It is difficult for anybody to remain composed in a high pressure situation and even more so for a child.  In May this year, eight-year-old Bailey Wrigley was faced with a life threatening medical emergency and his cool, calm and collected actions undoubtedly helped save his mum’s life.

Bailey’s mum Andrea had been ill for a number of days and told her son she was going to lie down.  Later that evening Bailey, home alone at the time with his mum, was unable to wake her up. Bailey recognising the emergency immediately dialed Triple Zero (000) asking for an ambulance.

Ambulance Control Centre Officer Maria Santos, who took Bailey’s call, said she was able to ascertain that Bailey’s mum was unconscious. “I asked Bailey to try and wake her but she was not responding. I knew the situation was serious and asked Bailey to count every time she took a breath so that we could make sure she was breathing,” Ms Santos said.

Attending Paramedics Sabina Fazlic, Natalie Booth and Russell McNeil were responded to the medical emergency and travelled by lights and siren to the family’s Concord residence.

When paramedics arrived, Andrea was unconscious and critically ill.

“Bailey was so calm and was able to answer all of our questions and provided vital information about his mum’s recent health. His actions were the perfect example for the community, particularly young children, as to what to do in an emergency. He demonstrated wisdom beyond his years and helped save his mums life” Paramedic Fazlic said.

Andrea recalls waking up in hospital four days later. “I remember waking up in the Intensive Care Unit with a tube down my throat connected to monitors and tubes everywhere.”

Andrea has no recollection of the medical emergency that took place in her home.

“I remember feeling awful and wanting to lie down. I don’t recall the paramedics in my home or travelling to hospital. My husband told me that Bailey called the paramedics for me. I am just so proud of my son; words can’t describe how lucky I am. He is the best boy a mum could ask for, “Andrea said.

Andrea has since made a full recovery and has returned home to be with her family. Her emergency was the result of a sinus infection which had travelled to the brain, rendering her unconscious.

New South Wales | NSW firefighters battling wildfires in Canada

More than 100 Australian firefighters have travelled to Canada to help fight large and destructive wildfires.

They’re working in British Columbia and the North West Territories.

The NSW team includes:

  • 32 personnel from the NSW RFS
  • 13 personnel from National Parks & Wildlife Service
  • 4 personnel from Forestry Corporation
  • 3 personnel from Fire & Rescue NSW

Roles include specialist Incident Management Team personnel. Emergency Management Victoria is coordinating the deployment on behalf of all Australian states and territories.

New South Wales | NSW Ambulance campaign urges public to assess whether their Urgency is an Emergency before calling Triple Zero (000)


NSW Ambulance has officially launched a new campaign aimed at reducing unnecessary pressure on emergency ambulance and hospital resources during the peak winter period.

The social media campaign “Is Your Urgency an Emergency?” aims to encourage the community to #MakeTheRightCall to get the right care.

Commissioner Ray Creen, Chief Executive NSW Ambulance, said the online campaign isn’t designed to discourage people from calling Triple Zero (000). Instead, it aims to educate users about the role of NSW Ambulance paramedics and the treatment pathways patients with coughs, colds or sprained limbs may be referred to.

“NSW Ambulance Triple Zero (000) call takers answer a call for help on average every 26 seconds. Just 10 per cent of these calls are for patients with life-threatening conditions,” Commissioner Creen said.

“NSW Ambulance paramedics attending non-medical emergencies could mean a patient with a life threatening emergency may have to wait, potentially putting their life at risk.”

The winter months are traditionally one of the busiest times for our  paramedics and unfortunately the statistics show that around 40 per cent of people ring Triple Zero (000) when their condition is low acuity or non-urgent for an illness or injury which could be more appropriately managed by other health providers.

In order to better use its resources and the clinical skills of paramedics, NSW Ambulance has embraced a range of treatment pathways which will ensure patients get the most appropriate out-of-hospital care for their condition.

“Just as every patient who presents to an Emergency Department (ED) is not admitted to hospital, not every patient who calls Triple Zero (000) needs a stretcher ambulance or paramedic.

“During these busy winter months, when demand is high, we need to make sure NSW Ambulance resources are used appropriately and effectively and not tied up with non-emergency situations,” Commissioner Creen said.

The colourful campaign is made up of four posters which clearly show the gamut of treatment pathways available to patients, before or after they make a Triple Zero (000) call. It also includes an emergency gauge with common conditions listed in a sliding scale from non-urgent to emergency.

This campaign educates patients with non life-threatening or non-urgent conditions not to expect a double crewed stretcher ambulance response. Patients may be referred by NSW Ambulance Triple Zero (000) call takers or paramedics to Healthdirect Australia, which is staffed by registered nurses, or to the After Hours Medical Deputising Service which will provide a doctor to the patient’s home.

“It’s important to remember that Triple Zero (000) is for emergencies and although we will answer every Triple Zero (000) call and provide medical assistance, phoning for an ambulance is not always the right call to make to get the right care,” Commissioner Creen said.

“NSW Ambulance Triple Zero (000) control centre staff and paramedics are health experts so the community needs to trust their ability to make the right decision.”

For non-emergency situations, people can always seek advice from:
Healthdirect on 1800 022 222
Local General Practitioners (GPs)
Medical Deputising Service

“This campaign empowers the community to make that decision themselves by being aware there are other treatment pathways available instead of thinking Triple Zero (000) is the only option,”
Commissioner Creen said.

“I would call on all members of the public to really think before making that call. You can help save lives by assessing if your urgency is an emergency and ensuring you make the right call.”


New South Wales | Super snow Sunday expected as major winter storm takes aim on the state

The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has advised the SES that the snow this weekend, especially on Sunday, will be some of the heaviest for years. Strong winds are expected to accompany the snow and conditions along the ranges may at times become blizzard like posing a significant risk to people who are not prepared.

According to the BoM, snow of 5-15cm will be widespread along the ranges especially the Southern and Central Tablelands may fall along the ranges with locally higher falls of 20-30cm. Alpine areas may see up to a metre of snow. Winds may gust in some areas up to 90km/hr. Roads will likely close and properties and some towns may become cut off. Cold weather after Sunday may hold the snow for several days and lengthen isolation especially in higher and more remote areas.

Towns that may affected include Cooma, Batlow, Tumbarumba, Blayney, Orange, Lithgow, Oberon, Walcha, Armidale, Guyra and Glen Innes, although snow may briefly affect other towns at lower elevations.

Travelers: consider an alternate low level route on Sunday, travel on Saturday or wait until the snow has passed. Highways including the Great Western, Monaro, New England, Oxley, Hume and Snowy Mountains may close. Snow is likely to cause extensive local road closures above 700 metres. If you encounter snow, drive to the conditions and avoid sudden braking.

Check out safe driving in the snow here: http://www.mynrma.com.au/motoring-services/road-safety/safer-driving/country/snow.htm

Please avoid sightseeing and do not drive past road closed signs and obey the directions of the emergency services and local council.

Residents in affected areas: Be prepared for possible isolation and make sure you have a battery powered radio, torch and spare batteries. Have plenty of food, fuel, medicine and other essentials. The weight of heavy snow may bring down trees and branches so avoid standing under snow-laden trees. If snow causes trees and branches to damage your home or business, or block access to your property, call the NSW SES on 132 500 for emergency assistance. As power may be lost ensure that you have an alternate heating source that is safe to use indoors. Check out this good advice on safe heating from Fire and Rescue NSW http://www.fire.nsw.gov.au/news.php?news=2304

Rural property owners: Farmers should move livestock to areas that offer protection from wind and snow. Rural properties, especially in higher and more remote areas, may be isolated for several days. Ensure you have enough food, fuel, medicine and other essential items. Don’t forget working animals and livestock.

Bushwalkers: Consider delaying treks on the ranges as possible blizzards, rain and gales will make bushwalking hazardous. Snow may cover tracks and make navigation difficult. Always carry an EPIRB and let someone know where you are going and when you will be returning.

If you require emergency help due to damage, isolation or loss of access due to the snow, call 132 500 if it is non-life threatening or 000 if it is a life-threatening emergency.

For the latest NSW warnings visit the Bureau of Meteorology website here: http://bit.ly/1dPyboF

New South Wales #NSW | Emergency #Exercise in #Sydney CBD on Sunday 24 May

A major emergency management exercise will be carried out in the Sydney CBD tomorrow (Sunday 24 May) to test emergency management arrangements in case of an incident in the city

Exercise ‘Sydney CBD’ is a multi agency emergency management exercise involving more than 500 emergency service personnel commencing at 9:00am and concluding at midday.

The Sydney CBD Evacuation Sub Plan has been under review for the past 12 months and Sunday’s exercise is part of the review process and provides police and emergency service organisations with the guidance required in a range of events, including the need to move large numbers of people out of the city.

Those involved in the exercise include the NSW Police Force, Fire & Rescue NSW, Roads and Maritime Services, NSW Ambulance, Transport Management Centre, Transport for NSW, City of Sydney Council, NSW Health – Disaster/Crisis, the Ministry of Police and Emergency Services, Dept of Premier and Cabinet, and Surf Life Saving Australia.

300 volunteers from the RFS, SES and Surf Life Saving Australia will role play workers being evacuated.

New South Wales #NSW | Thank you to emergency services workers

Minister for Emergency Services David Elliott and Regional Recovery Coordinator Brigadier Darren Naumann today visited the Wyong State Emergency Service (SES) unit to thank volunteers who helped save lives and houses during the recent storms.

Mr Elliott said the NSW SES and other emergency services workers had been outstanding in the immediate aftermath and he was impressed with the recovery effort – but there is still a lot of work to do.

Wyong SES members have volunteered more than 5,000 hours to help the community in the past month and are continuing to respond to calls for assistance.

“Today, I have returned to the region to thank the brave men and women from the SES who continue to help their communities after the storms which hit NSW last month,” Mr Elliott said.

“I want to assure you that the recovery of storm-affected communities like Wyong is a priority for this Government and we will continue to support you – no matter how long it takes.”

Brigadier Naumann is helping prioritise the recovery response and has visited all 10 local government areas across the Hunter and Central Coast which have been declared natural disaster areas to understand their needs.

“Individuals and communities recover at different rates, but large parts of the region are back on their feet thanks to the efforts of SES volunteers and those of all response agencies,” Brigadier Naumann said.

“I would also like to congratulate all of the councils for rallying together and helping to drive the clean-up effort from the ground up.”

New South Wales #NSW | #Sydney #firefighters receive new high-tech helmets

Minister for Emergency Services David Elliott today announced firefighters at City of Sydney Fire Station are the first to receive new cutting-edge helmets as part of a rollout to Fire and Rescue NSW’s (FRNSW) 6,800 fire officers.

Mr Elliott and FRNSW Commissioner Greg Mullins visited the station as firefighters were fitted and trained for the high-tech helmets – the most advanced in Australia.

The helmets have an integrated radio microphone and ear piece so firefighters can communicate with commanders and also be heard more clearly while wearing self-contained breathing apparatus.

They also feature lighting, adjustable eye protection and improved safety from heat and falling debris.

“Our 6,800 firefighters deserve the best equipment when they are protecting the people and property of NSW and this is why the Liberals & Nationals Government invested $7 million in these new helmets,” Mr Elliott said.

Commissioner Mullins said FRNSW firefighters used their frontline experience to provide guidance to the project team on the ‘jet-style’ design and features required in a helmet.

“We considered what we needed in our ideal firefighting helmet and then took it to industry so they could work with us on developing a solution,” Commissioner Mullins said.

“Firefighters deal with life-threatening situations on a daily basis and know exactly what equipment they need to battle complex firefighting and rescue operations.”

FRNSW firefighters in the Hunter will be fitted for the helmets in the coming weeks and the rollout to all FRNSW firefighters will be complete by the end of the year.

New South Wales #NSW | Travellers reminded to get #flu vax after #outbreaks aboard cruise ships

NSW Health is urging anyone thinking of taking a holiday cruise to be vaccinated against influenza at least two weeks prior to departure, following several recent outbreaks on board ships arriving in Sydney.

NSW is experiencing markedly increased flu activity this year. Obtaining the annual flu vaccination is sound advice for all members of the community whether they are planning to travel by sea or air.

Particular care should be taken by cruise passengers who may be at increased risk due to the large numbers of people frequently mingling from all parts of the world, for longer periods of time and in close proximity to another.

Dr Vicky Sheppeard, Director, Communicable Diseases Branch, NSW Health, said since 1 February 2015, about 533 passengers and crew arriving in Sydney on board cruise ships have been recorded as having an influenza-like illness.

“Cruise ships have strong protocols in place for assessing, treating and isolating passengers and crew with suspected influenza, but the best form of prevention is vaccination,” Dr Sheppeard said.

“We strongly recommend that people who are planning to take a cruise make it a priority to visit their doctor and have the influenza vaccination at least two weeks before departure,” she said.

“This is especially important for pregnant women, the elderly and anyone who is at increased risk of pneumonia or other serious complications if they contract influenza,” she said.

On average, flu notifications over the first four months of this year have been more than double that of previous years.

“If you are showing symptoms of having influenza, it is very important that you take steps to avoid spreading it. This includes covering your face when you cough or sneeze and throwing used tissues in a rubbish bin. Wash your hands thoroughly and often, and for at least 10 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand rub.”

Influenza is a highly contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. There are three main types of influenza virus that cause infection in humans – types A, B and C – and many sub-types or strains. Influenza can occur throughout the year but influenza activity usually peaks in winter.

The 2015 seasonal influenza vaccines for Australia have been updated to match the new strains of influenza A/H3N2 and influenza B that have been circulating during the Northern Hemisphere winter and which circulated in NSW during the 2014 season.

NSW Health is currently working with the cruise ship industry to promote the recommendation for influenza vaccination prior to travel among booked passengers.

For more information on the NSW Cruise Ship Health Surveillance Program, visit http://www.seslhd.health.nsw.gov.au/Public_Health/CruiseShipProgram/surv.asp

For more information on influenza outbreaks in travel groups, visit http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/factsheets/Pages/Influenza_outbreaks_in_travel_groups.aspx