David Elliott, NSW Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Media Release, 27 July 2021
A retinue of 38 specialists from NSW firefighting and emergency services will join an Australian deployment to Canada to assist firefighters as they continue to battle devastating wild fires.
Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott said the firefighters and emergency services volunteers would join their colleagues from Western Australia as part of a 55-person contingent, including 22 experts from the NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS), 10 from Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW), and three from NSW State Emergency Service (NSW SES).
“The people of NSW know only too well the sense of devastation and heartbreak being felt by our friends in Canada, where hundreds of fires are being fought,” Mr Elliott said.
“We send our thoughts but – better than that – NSW is sending 38 of our best: highly-skilled, highly-trained firefighters and emergency personnel to help those impacted communities.
“In British Columbia alone, more than 300 fires are actively burning across the province in heatwave conditions and a State of Emergency declaration has been put in place.
“I know the contribution of our specialist personnel will be invaluable and I know our counterparts in Canada welcome our people, just like we feel supported when they send their teams to help us in our time of bushfire crisis,” Mr Elliott said.
The contingent will include Incident Management Teams, Divisional and Sector Commanders, Fire Behaviour Analysts and Aviation specialists.
NSW last week sent the RFS-owned 737 Large Air Tanker ‘Marie Bashir’ to the United States, on a 45-day deployment, after requests for assistance.
The Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council’s National Resource Sharing Centre is facilitating the deployment of Australian and New Zealand personnel and resources following a formal request for assistance made by Canadian and US fire authorities.
The contingent from NSW will fly out from Sydney Airport on Tuesday and will remain in Canada for up to five weeks.