The NSW Rural Fire Service Association (RFSA) has thanked NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) volunteers and staff as well as other agency personnel whose joint efforts helped control fires that raged across the state’s north.
RFSA President Brain McDonough said unity between volunteers, NSW RFS staff and other emergency services has allowed firefighters to get on with the job of protecting people and property.
“Our highly skilled NSW RFS volunteers and staff work alongside members of other emergency services and land management organisations for the common purpose of helping the community.”
Mr McDonough said he had witnessed first-hand the camaraderie between volunteers and staff, and between the RFS and other agencies, when working to contain the Long Gully fire around Drake.
“While working at Long Gully Control I was blown away by the support we got, with volunteers coming from right across the state. We had crews making the journey from everywhere from Wilcannia to Bega, and Albury to Bourke to lend a helping hand,” Mr McDonough said.
“The dedication, skills and efforts of all personnel involved prevented the loss of lives and further loss of property.”
Mr McDonough also highlighted the importance of employers who allowed volunteer firefighters to leave the workplace to assist the firefighting efforts.
“A supportive employer makes it much easier for a volunteer to respond to the call as their workplace acknowledges the importance of their service and the security of their job,” he said.
“We must also not forget those who are self-employed and left their farms or businesses to assist when needed, and those who used their annual leave entitlements to volunteer.”
Over recent weeks the RFSA has supported firefighters where the conditions have triggered emergency declarations under section 44 of the Rural Fires Act. This has included the provision of additional welfare support and over 1,000 clean cotton t-shirts to firefighters across the state.