Queensland Fire and Emergency Services

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Queensland Fire and Emergency Services
QFES 2014 badge.png
The QFES logo.
Established: 1860
Regions: 7
Specialities: Combatant Authority for Fire, Rescue and Hazmat
Full Time: 2,100
Auxiliary: 2,100
Volunteers: 36,000
Stations: 239
Brigades: 1519
Location: Kedron, Queensland, Australia
Child Agency: State Emergency Service
Website fire.qld.gov.au

The Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) is the primary provider of fire and emergency services in Queensland. The QFES was established in 2013 to improve the coordination and planning of emergency services, adopting an 'all hazards' approach to emergency management.

QFES headquarters are located in the Emergency Services Complex Kedron, Brisbane.

Formerly known as the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (QFRS) 2001-2013, Queensland Fire and Rescue Authority 1997-2001 and Queensland Fire Service 1990-1997.

The QFES is maintained by a unique mix of over 35,000 Rural Fire Service Queensland volunteers, 6000 State Emergency Service volunteers, approximately 2,200 permanent firefighters and more than 2000 auxiliary firefighters. QFES front-line operations is supported by a number of non-operational administration staff throughout the state.

The Minister responsible for the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services is the Honourable Jack Dempsey, Minister for the Police, Fire and Emergency Services portfolio. The QFES is lead by (Commissioner Lee A Johnson AFSM FIFireE).

Commissioner[edit]

The Commissioner of the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services is Lee A. Johnson AFSM FIFireE who is a 35+ year veteran of the QFES. Commissioner Johnson was awarded a Fellow of The Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE). This fellowship was well earned, not only in recognition of Commissioner Johnson's contribution to operational fire services and to professional fire engineering, but it is a testament to Commissioner Johnson's leadership in the community both in Queensland and throughout Australia. Commissioner Johnson joined what was then the Townsville Fire Brigade Board as a firefighter in 1975. In addition to his achievements with QFES, Commissioner Johnson has held numerous positions with other respected firefighting organisations, including: Director on the board of the National Aerial Firefighting Centre; Director on the board of the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre; and immediate past president of the Australasian Fire Authorities Council. Commissioner Johnson has received several awards for his efforts, including the National Emergency Medal, National Medal and Clasps, Australian Fire Service Medal and Distinguished and Ethical Service Medal and Clasps.

Commissioner Johnson holds an Associate Diploma of Applied Science(Fire Technology), is a Member of the Institute of Fire Engineers (FIFireE) and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management (FAIM).[1]

During the Australia Day awards 2004, Commissioner Johnson was awarded the Australian Fire Service Medal for his career contribution to the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service.[2]

Commissioner Johnson is a regular keynote speaker at industry events across Australia and Internationally, his topics often include Incident Management, Command and Control and technology and its impact on emergency and disaster management.

History[edit]

The QFES is the result of 150 years of evolution in Queensland’s firefighting services; in fact the QFES was born from Australia’s oldest formal volunteer fire service, formed in 1860 after a fire destroyed a Brisbane cabinet making workshop. The early years were tough for the Brisbane Volunteer Fire Brigade and it wasn’t until 1889 that the first full-time firemen was employed.

The first legislation for rural fire management was the Act to Prevent the Careless Use of Fire 1865, and for urban fire management, the Fire Brigades Act 1876. In 1990, the Queensland Fire Service and the Rural Fires Council were formed replacing the 81 Fire Boards in local government areas and the Rural Fires Board; this was the first step in creating a single fire service for Queensland.

In 1997, it became the Queensland Fire and Rescue Authority and 2001 saw another name change to the current Queensland Fire and Rescue Service.

In 2013, QFRS became the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, encompassing the State Emergency Service, Emergency Management and the Rural Fire Service Queensland.

Organization[edit]

The department ensures a balance between the reduction of risk and enhancement of community resilience, whilst providing effective response and recovery capabilities in the primary hazard response areas of: fire and explosion; accident; rescue; environmental and imminent or declared disaster.

The Queensland Fire and Emergency Services provides specialist personnel with the skills and ability to provide combat support services for: land, marine, air and urban search and rescue; crime scene and forensic searches; missing person searches; animal disease outbreaks and communications.

Rural Fire Service Queensland[edit]

There is no urban fire service coverage of rural, semi-rural and some urban fringe areas. The Rural Fire Service Queensland (RFSQ), made up of approximately 35 000 volunteers (approximately 1500 rural fire brigades) and around 2400 fire wardens, and is the volunteer side of the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service and it is these volunteers who provide fire services to 93% of Queensland.

Fighting Fires Rural Fire Brigades respond to the outbreak of fires within their local area and in surrounding areas in support of other rural fire brigades and emergency service workers.

Fire Prevention Rural Fire Brigades, in conjunction with Rural Fire Service Queensland staff, undertake a range of planning and preparation activities throughout the year to ensure communities are well prepared for the fire season.

One of these activities is hazard reduction burns. Hazard reduction burns use fire to reduce excess vegetation and minimise the potential for bushfires to get out of control.

Community Education There is an increasing awareness that timely and effective fire prevention and education saves lives and property. Rural fire brigade members deliver a range of community education programs within their communities. The local knowledge held by members of the brigades, along with their knowledge of fire behaviour and prevention, ensure the community gets information and education specific to their circumstances.

Permits to Light Fire The Rural Fire Service Queensland controls the use of fire by not allowing fires to be lit without a specific permit. Fire Wardens and authorised fire officers manage the permit to light fire system.

A permit to light fire is required for any fire that exceeds two metres in any direction and can be acquired free of charge from a fire warden.

Deployments and assistance during disasters Rural Fire Service Queensland volunteers are often sent on deployment to assist other states during fire disasters. Members are also called upon to assist other emergency service agencies during disasters such as floods and storms.

State Emergency Service[edit]

The State Emergency Service is a national organisation of volunteers - 'ordinary people doing extraordinary things'.

The Queensland SES consists of thousands of 'unpaid' volunteers from a variety of backgrounds and professions who respond to emergencies and disasters across the State, 24/7.

They are trained and equipped to help their communities across a range of functions, and their primary purpose is to assist the most vulnerable members of the community.

The SES is designed to empower people to help themselves and others in their community in times of emergency and disaster. The basic concept is one of self-help and mutual assistance within each community.

Roles of the SES The SES becomes involved in preparing for, and responding to, many different types of disasters and emergencies including: cyclones; torms; floods; crime scene/forensics searches; earthquakes; cliff rescues; transportation incidents (road/rail/air; landslides; searches for missing persons and animal disease outbreaks.

SES members also assist other emergency services with provision of: emergency lighting; emergency welfare services; management of traffic at emergency scenes and emergency communications.

Ranks and structure[edit]

The QFES employs both full-time and part-time (auxiliary) firefighters to staff its more than 240 urban fire and rescue stations, with volunteer firefighters making up the State's almost approx 1500 rural fire brigades. All three groups wear the same blue station wear uniform, however:

  • Volunteers wear Proban treated cotton turn-out ensemble (Yellow) and have gold on navy coloured epaulettes.
  • Auxiliaries are distinguished by red on navy coloured epaulettes.
  • Full Time firefighters are distinguished by white on navy coloured epaulettes.

Ranks of the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service are as follows:

Scientific[edit]

  • Scientific Officer - Light blue epaulette with red embroidered 'SCIENTIFIC'
  • Scientific Officer (5 Years) - Light blue epaulette with red embroidered 'SCIENTIFIC' with single bar
  • Scientific Officer (10 Years) - Light blue epaulette with red embroidered 'SCIENTIFIC' with double bar
  • Scientific Officer (15 Years) - Light blue epaulette with red embroidered 'SCIENTIFIC' with triple bar
  • Inspector Scientific - Light blue epaulette with white embroidered triple impeller
  • Chief Superintendent Scientific - Light blue epaulette with white embroidered double impeller and crown

Rural[edit]

  • Member - Navy epaulette with gold embroidered 'RURAL'
  • Firefighter - Navy epaulette with gold embroidered 'RURAL' and single bar
  • Senior Firefighter - Navy epaulette with gold embroidered 'RURAL' and double bar
  • Crew Leader - Navy epaulette with gold embroidered 'RURAL' and triple bar
  • Officer - Navy epaulette with gold embroidered 'RURAL' and single impeller
  • 1st Officer - Navy epaulette with gold embroidered 'RURAL' and double impeller
  • Deputy Group Officer - Navy epaulette with gold embroidered 'RURAL' and single impeller with bar
  • Group Officer - Navy epaulette with gold embroidered 'RURAL' and double impeller with bar
  • Rural Officer 1 - Navy epaulette with white embroidered bar
  • Rural Officer 2 - Navy epaulette with double white embroidered bar
  • Inspector - Navy epaulette with white embroidered triple impeller
  • Superintendent - Navy epaulette with white embroidered single impeller and crown
  • Chief Superintendent - Navy epaulette with white embroidered double impeller and crown
  • Assistant Commissioner - Navy epaulette with white embroidered crossed branches with laurels

Auxiliary[edit]

  • Auxiliary Support - Navy epaulette with red embroidered 'AUXILIARY SUPPORT'
  • Firefighter - Navy epaulette with red embroidered 'FIREFIGHTER'
  • Firefighter (5 Years) - Navy epaulette with red embroidered 'FIREFIGHTER' with single bar
  • Firefighter (10 Years) - Navy epaulette with red embroidered 'FIREFIGHTER' with double bar
  • Firefighter (15 Years) - Navy epaulette with red embroidered 'FIREFIGHTER' with triple bar
  • Lieutenant - Navy epaulette with red embroidered single impeller
  • Captain - Navy epaulette with red embroidered double impeller

Permanent[edit]

  • 4th Class Firefighter - Navy epaulette with white embroidered "FIREFIGHTER"
  • 3rd Class Firefighter - Navy epaulette with white embroidered single chevron
  • 2nd Class Firefighter - Navy epaulette with white embroidered double chevron
  • 1st Class Firefighter - Navy epaulette with white embroidered triple chevron
  • Senior Firefighter - Navy epaulette with white embroidered triple chevron and gold crossed axes
  • Leading Firefighter - Navy epaulette with white embroidered "LEADING FIREFIGHTER" with triple chevron and gold crossed axes
  • Station Officer - Navy epaulette with white embroidered double impeller
  • Inspector - Navy epaulette with white embroidered triple impeller
  • Superintendent - Navy epaulette with white embroidered single impeller and crown
  • Chief Superintendent - Navy epaulette with white embroidered double impeller and crown
  • Assistant Commissioner - Navy epaulette with white embroidered crossed branches with laurels
  • Deputy Commissioner - Navy epaulette with white embroidered crossed branched with laurels and a single impeller
  • Commissioner - Navy epaulette with white embroidered crossed branches with laurels and a single crown

References[edit]

  1. ^ APCO Australasia 2012 Conference - Speaker List
  2. ^ Honours Website - Lee Anothony Johnson

External links[edit]