Fifty-seven specialists from NSW firefighting and emergency service agencies have arrived in Canada to join a 200 strong Australasian deployment assisting local firefighters currently battling over 190 wildfires burning through the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia.
The core of the NSW contingent is made up of 30 members from the Rural Fire Service, 9 from Fire and Rescue NSW and 3 NSW State Emergency Service crew.
The group is expected to be deployed for up to 42 days and will include arduous firefighters, incident management personnel as well as other specialist roles such as supervision and aviation management.
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 fire authorities.
Most of the NSW contingent landed in Canada this morning to assist local fire crews and Incident Management Teams who have been working at the fire front for several weeks now.
Minister for Emergency Services Jihad Dib said:
“Tens of thousands of people have had to flee their homes in Canada from the terrifying wildfires, a scenario we in NSW are all too familiar with, and while our thoughts and prayers are with those facing hardship and loss, we are backing that up with action by sending this much needed help.”
“I have no doubt our emergency service specialists will provide well deserved relief for their international colleagues and to those who have made the trip, I thank them for their selflessness, bravery and resolve. I also wish to thank their families and employers for their support of this important mission.”
Commissioner of the RFS, Rob Rogers said:
“This deployment continues a long standing tradition of helping our fellow firefighters with NSW agencies providing international firefighting assistance for more than two decades with multiple deployments to Canada.”
“Our specialists are highly trained and will be working in both arduous firefighter roles on the ground as well incident management positions, including an incident controller who will be responsible for overseeing an entire team of operators.”