Safety is the number one priority during all NSW RFS activities – operational and non-operational. Under the Workplace Heath and Safety (WHS) Act and Regulations (2011) all NSW RFS members fall within the definition of a ‘worker’ and the new laws require workers to:

  • Take reasonable care for their own and other people’s health and safety
  • Comply with any reasonable instructions, policies and procedures regarding health and safety given by the NSW RFS

During training and brigade activities that have occurred prior to undertaking this advanced module, a member  should have acquired some safety skills and knowledge, however this section will revisit some key points in relation to personal safety. 

The Crew Safety and Welfare (CSW) module covers safety in depth and provides members with the ability to recognise potential health and safety risks, especially those derived from human factors, like fatigue, dehydration and stress.

CSW provides members with an ability to determine if tactics and tasks are ‘worth the risk’ (called Dynamic Risk Assessment) and how to implement controls to ensure the health and safety of the members.

Personal Safety - Self Assessment

In your Bush Firefighter training you will have discussed some self assessment techniques, designed to help ensure your health and safety well before you even attend an incident with the NSW RFS. The IMSAFER checklist is still relevant and you should always run through this before you present for duty. Are you fit to attend this fire/incident? If you’re not fit to go, it’s OK to say ‘no’.

Illness/injuryAm I sufficiently recovered?
MedicationAm I under the effects of any medication?
StressAm I under severe stress from work or personal worries?
Alcohol/drugsAm I under the influence, or badly hung over?
FatigueAm I tired and not adequately rested?
ExpertiseAm I currently competent?
ReviewHave I recently reviewed my ongoing suitability for firefighting?

Your personal safety and the safety of others is maintainedWorking safely requires that you regularly assess the work environment to ensure:

  • Equipment is operated in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications
  • WHS requirements and the organisation's policies and procedures are adhered to

You must always take reasonable care of the health and safety of yourself and others to not only comply with WHS requirements, but to keep everyone safe and free from harm.

For you to work safely in the NSW RFS you must act to ensure the health and safety of all members. This includes during training, maintaining competence, wearing personal protective clothing and equipment (PPC/E), following operational guidelines and more.