On Thursday 3rd June 1999, Andrew Clennell published an article in the Sydney Morning Herald titled: “Hollywood fire chief has too much power: councils”, many Volunteers have suggested that nothing has changed and it is getting worse.

Feel free to add your thoughts using our comments section at the end of this post.

Click on the image below to view the newspaper article (scanned pdf version)


Sixteen years later and we are still seeing:

  • Excessive focus on uniforms and rank.
  • Show-pony tactics.
  • City centric management. “If they keep running the whole thing out of Sydney… they’re going to destroy it because its strength is being a voluntary organisation” Mr Peter Woods said in the newspaper article (1999).
  • Rural areas are disillusioned. “When you’ve got all the rural areas in NSW complaining about it, you’ve got a problem” Mr Robert Gledhill said in the newspaper article (1999).
  • Lack of consultation.
  • Proliferation of regulations.
  • Unnecessarily bureaucratic and top-heavy.

Perhaps it is time to move away from the city centric influence and relocate the Rural Fire Service Headquarters to a regional area.

Lets put the RURAL back into Rural Fire Service.

Show Pony example below:

It didn’t take long for “Thor” (a C-130 based large water bomber) to be badged in readiness for the media.

'Thor', a C-130 Hercules contracted to the NSW Government to assist in fighting bushfires, on the hard stand at RAAF Base Richmond.

No mention of the “F Word” (Fuel) in the media release. $9.8 million would go a long way towards fuel reduction and fire trail maintenance.

Media Release

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Thor Thunders into NSW for Bushfire Season

Large Air Tanker (LAT) ‘Thor’ has arrived in Sydney ahead of the bushfire season, providing an immediate boost to the state’s firefighting arsenal.

Minister for Emergency Services David Elliott, NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons and NSW RFS Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers viewed a demonstration of the Hercules C130’s water-bombing capabilities in Richmond today.

Thor can dump 15,000 litres of water or fire retardant at a time and will be used for direct attack on both bush and grass fires. A DC-10 Very Large Air Tanker (VLAT) will begin service on October 1.

“The NSW Government is delivering on a $9.8 million commitment to trial the use of a LAT and a VLAT for the first time during this bushfire season, providing valuable assistance to our firefighters,” Mr Elliott said.

“The trial of this aircraft is an investment in protecting lives and property in NSW and an investment this Government has no hesitation in making.”

Commissioner Fitzsimmons said Thor would be just one of the more than 100 tactical firefighting aircraft in use across the state this fire season.

“With warm and dry conditions predicted throughout the season, these aircraft are an important asset in our firefighting weaponry,” Commissioner Fitzsimmons said.

“Importantly, it’s their integration with the work of firefighters on the ground, along with a well prepared community, that makes the difference.”

Community members can learn more about bushfire preparation at one of 600 events across the state on Get Ready weekend September 12/13.

Firefighters will be available at Brigade station open days and local Bunnings stores to provide advice on reducing the risk to your home.

Visit www.rfs.nsw.gov.au to find out what is happening in your local area.

MEDIA: Katherine Danks | Minister Elliott | 0437 428 715 RFS Media | 9898 1855

Has anything changed – or is it getting worse?
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