Rural Fire Service Unveils State-Of-The-Art Facilities

Just as we approach a horror fire season, the Rural Fire Service has opened a new facility boasting state-of-the-art technology to keep us safe.

The $21.5 million facility in Sydney Olympic Park was officially opened on Wednesday and its tipped to change our firefighting operations.

“It includes capabilities such as live fire response information, intelligence sharing, digital mapping as well as public information and media broadcasting resources,” Emergency Services Minister, Troy Grant boasted.

“I think it’s one of the best, if not the best (in the country).”

The hero of it all is the Knowledge Wall, consisting of 180 screens, 640 kilometres of data cables and more than 5000 access points.

During major events it provides our 20 emergency agencies with live intelligence to assist them in making critical decisions and informing the public.

The timing of this opening couldn’t be better as we approach a “difficult and prolonged fire season”.

“The underlying moisture deficit right across the landscape has made it easier for fires to start and spread quickly, even through Winter,” RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons told reporters.

“The question is, when is fire season? We’ve had very little reprieve.”

Since July, there’s been 6300 bushfires and a third of them were in August.

Rainfall in October saw those numbers dramatically decrease to 500 and if the Bureau of Meteorology is correct, we should see similar numbers in December.

“There was some welcome news last week… that there is some chance of getting some (above average) rainfall, obviously we’re not banking on that at this stage but if it comes we’ll certainly welcome it,” Fitzsimmons said.

But even the Bureau’s state manager Ann Farrell said that sort of rainfall can be “hit and miss”.

“Some people might get good falls out of that while others miss out completely or only get very little.”

The advice, as always, is to stay informed and be prepared and with this new facility it’s made all the more easier.