News from the CRC

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The NSW Rural Fire Service and Tasmania Fire Service fighting the Tasmanian fires in early 2016. Photo: Mick Reynolds, NSW RFS
The NSW Rural Fire Service and Tasmania Fire Service fighting the Tasmanian fires in early 2016. Photo: Mick Reynolds, NSW RFS
Release date
19 Aug 2016

Emergency services working together ahead of 2016/17 disaster season

As the nation heads toward the 2016/17 bushfire season, it is critical that Australian firefighters and emergency response agencies are able to call on additional support from across the country to meet the heightened resource demands in the face of an emergency.

For the first time they have the backing of the National Resource Sharing Centre, working within the National Aerial Firefighting Centre and part-funded by the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department, to support the facilitation of interstate and international sharing of personnel and equipment.

Paul Considine, Manager of the National Resource Sharing Centre outlines how the organisation, established in February 2016, supports the coordination of interstate and international deployments ahead of his presentation at Australia’s largest emergency management conference, AFAC16 powered by INTERSCHUTZ from 30 August – 1 September 2016.  

“Fire and emergency services are resourced to meet the foreseeable demand in each state and territory. It’s not economical or achievable to resource each state for every possible crisis or disaster that may occur; for many years Australian and New Zealand fire and emergency services and land management agencies have worked together to share resources in times of high operational activity.

“Created in early 2016, the National Resource Sharing Centre exists to support the deployment of resources between jurisdictions, in response to conditions that the receiving state or territory is unable to manage by itself.

“As we continue to grow, we may look at regional demand to support the movement of resources for prevention activities such as planned burning,” said Mr Considine.

“In times of crisis, when bushfires burn for significant periods of time, or if a large cyclone hits, personnel are fatigued, or specialist skills or equipment are required, other states can be activated to rapidly deploy and support. Fire and Emergency Services in Australia and New Zealand operate using a common incident management system, making skills transferable and resource sharing very effective,” continued Mr Considine.

A major initiative actioned by the National Resource Sharing Centre, is the Australia-Canada framework - a bilateral arrangement, the first of its kind endorsed by both governments at a national level, to support international deployments when required.

“With the National Resource Sharing Centre on hand to support agencies and jurisdictions through the upcoming disaster season, we have the systems in place to expedite action when required – allowing them to obtain resources from across the nation or overseas.

“We are a step forward on the journey to effective resource sharing in Australia. It’s a constant evolution, if we can relieve some of the burden on agencies during a crisis and support them to receive more personnel and equipment, then Australia is better prepared to battle our natural hazards,” he concluded.

Paul Considine, Manager, National Resource Sharing Centre will speak at the upcoming AFAC16 conference powered by INTERSCHUTZ. His session is titled Partnership through resource sharing; The National Resource Sharing Centre Project. AFAC16 showcases the latest developments in emergency services equipment and technology from around the globe to the Australasian region, 30 August – 1 September at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre.

For more information visit: http://www.afacconference.com.au/  

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