Australian Capital Territory Rural Fire Service

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An ACT Rural Fire Service CAFS Isuzu tanker (white) and an ACT Fire Brigade Scania 94D 260 truck (yellow) pumper. Both with "FIRE" in mirror writing ("ERIF").

The ACT Rural Fire Service is a volunteer branch of the Australian Capital Territory Emergency Services Agency.

The nine RFS Brigades are generally focused on the western areas of the ACT as most fires come with winds from the Brindabella Ranges of the Namadgi National Park and Kosciuszko National Park to the west of the ACT.[1]


Brigades Executive Committees administer the assets and facilities of the Brigade and is made up of members who agree serving as President, Secretary and Treasurer etc. who have no incident or brigade command and control responsibilities. Each Brigade has a Captain and a number of Deputy Captains who have command responsibilities.[2]

  • The Guises Creek Rural Fire Brigade is located on the corner of Old Cooma Road and the Monaro Highway, near Royalla, New South Wales.
  • Jerrabomberra RFS Brigade is named after the Jerrabomberra Valley and is now based in Symonston and covers the central and eastern rural areas of the ACT including areas of Mt Ainslie, Mt Mugga, Red Hill, Isaacs Ridge, Kowen Forest.
  • Southern brigade, based at Tharwa, combines a rural base with closesness to the city, covering the southern area of the ACT, from Lanyon to the NSW border.
  • Gungahlin brigade is based at the Gungahlin Joint Emergency Services Complex (JESC) located in the central business area of the most northern town centre in the ACT.
  • Molonglo brigade is based at Higgins, covering West Belconnen.
  • Tidbinbilla Brigade (established on 25 February 1951), began as a group of landholders from the Tidbinbilla Valley and the surrounding region, and serves as the forefront unit for fires coming from the Brindabella Ranges.
  • Hall brigade is based in the rural village of Hall, aimed at protecting and educating the northern ACT community of Hall and surrounding areas about bushfires.
  • Rivers brigade is located on the Cotter Road approximately 1 km west turn off to the Mount Stromlo Observatory, and is unique in that it is co-located with the ACT State Emergency Service Unit.

Additionally, local fire units are organised on the margins of the ACT's rural boundary, with members drawn from residents of suburbs bounding the grassland/suburban interface. Small trailers with equipment are placed within suburbs, and the local members rehearse first-aid firefighting regularly before and during the fire season to provide a first response to local issues.

Training and call-out[edit]

Members can train one night a week, and during additional call-outs and for hazard reduction burning events before the fire season. Qualifications are achieved and required under the Australian Qualifications Framework.

Call-out is arranged by Brigades, and through the ACT Emergency Services Agency, using mobile phone text messages and emails.


Two 10 Tankers assisting in the Hazard Reduction Burn September 2013

Brigades have various numbers and combinations of:

  • Heavy Tanker
  • CAF Tanker
  • Medium Tanker
  • Light Unit
  • Command Unit
  • Support Trailer

Communications are coordinated with the ACT Emergency Services and New South Wales Rural Fire Service.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]