Queensland Fire and Emergency Services

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Queensland Fire and Emergency Services
QFES 2014 badge.png
Abbreviation QFES
Motto Many services, many capabilities, many partners.
Formation 1860
Legal status Active
Purpose Combatant authority for fire, rescue and hazmat[fire prevention]
Headquarters Kedron, Queensland, Australia
Region
  • 7 regions
Membership
  • 241 stations
  • 1519 brigades
Minister for Fire and Rescue, and Emergency Services
Craig Crawford, MP
Commissioner of QFES
Commissioner
Katarina Carroll, APM
Operations and Emergency Management
Deputy Commissioner Mark Roche, AFSM
Emergency Service Volunteers
Deputy Commissioner Mike Wassing
Subsidiaries Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (FRS)
Staff
2,100 (full-time)
2,100 (Casual)
Volunteers
37,000
Website qfes.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.

It was 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 mix of over 2,200 professional Fire and Rescue Service firefighters and more than 2000 Auxiliary Fire and Rescue Service Firefighters (on call) , 35,000 (6000 active)Rural Fire Brigade volunteers and 6000 State Emergency Service volunteers. 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 Craig Crawford [1], Minister for the Fire Rescue and Emergency Services portfolio.

QFES is led by Commissioner Katarina Carroll APM.

History[edit]

The QFES is the result of 150 years of evolution in Queensland’s firefighting services; in fact the QFES was born in 1860 after a fire destroyed a Brisbane cabinet making workshop. The early years were tough for the Brisbane Fire Brigade and it wasn’t until 1889 that the first 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 Queensland Fire and Rescue Service,State Emergency Service, Emergency Management and the Rural Fire Service.

Organisation[edit]

The Fire and Rescue Service professional Firefighters ensure 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.

Fire and Rescue Service

The Fire and Rescue Service is made up of 2000 professional Firefighters and 2000 Auxiliary (part-time)firefighters that are responsible for responding to almost every emergency. They are highly trained and work in a command structure with high standards to ensure safety. They have a proud history of protecting Queenslanders and are highly valued by the community. They look after 92% of Queensland's Assets and 95% of the population. To become a Fire and Rescue Service career Firefighter takes years of intense study and training in all disciplines of rescue, wildfires, structural fires and major emergencies.

Rural Fire Service Queensland[edit]

The Rural Fire Service (RFS), made up of approximately 36 000 volunteers, approximately 1500 rural fire brigades and around 2400 fire wardens. They are mainly responsible for responding to bushfires and have some land management capability. The current QFES model means that volunteers will support the Fire & Rescue Service in any emergency as required.

Fire Prevention and Fire and Rescue[edit]

Fire and Rescue Service professional Firefighters undertake a range of planning and preparation activities throughout the year. They are trained in Structural Firefighting, Wildland (forest and grassland) fires, high angle rescue, swift water rescue, road crash rescue, confined space rescue, trench rescue and urban search and rescue and Hazardous material mitigation. Fire hazard (vegetation fires) mitigation and response is the primary role of the Rural Fire Service. Rural Fire Brigades, in conjunction with Rural Fire Service permanent staff, Fire & rescue Service, local councils, national parks rangers, and local landholders, 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 under controlled circumstances to reduce excess vegetation and minimise the potential for bushfires to get out of control.

Community Education[edit]

There is an increasing awareness that timely and effective fire prevention and education saves lives and property. Fire and Rescue Service career Firefighters visit many schools and engage in a range of community education activities to ensure the community is prepared for a range of emergencies. Rural Fire Service 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 vegetation fire behaviour and prevention, ensure the rural community gets information and education specific to their circumstances.

Permits to Light Fire[edit]

The Fire and Emergency Services Regulation 2011 regulates 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.

Fighting Fires[edit]

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. Under the current one service all emergencies model, professionals from all arms of QFES come together to ensure the protection of Queenslanders.

Deployments and assistance during disasters[edit]

All elements of QFES are often sent on deployment to assist other states during fire disasters. Volunteer members are also called upon to support Fire and Rescue Service and 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 SES in Queensland 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.

Whether paid or unpaid, the members of all arms of Queensland Fire & Emergency Service are professionals. They provide the highest levels of planning, preparation, response and recovery to 100% of Queensland and it's people.

Leadership[edit]

The following list chronologically records those who have held the post of Commissioner of the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service.

Period served Name Notes
2015–Present Katarina Carroll, APM Formerly Assistant Commissioner in the Queensland Police Service
2002-2015 Lee Johnson, AFSM
1997-2002 Wayne Hartley, AFSM Also served as the Director of the Queensland Ambulance Service

Ranks and structure[edit]

The QFES employs both full-time professional firefighters and part-time professional(Auxiliary) firefighters to staff its more than 240 urban fire and rescue stations. It also enlists professional volunteers making up the rural fire service. The uniform is as follows:

  • Rural Fire Service volunteers wear a combination of Light Blue Shirt and Navy Trousers. Junior ranks currently wear a Navy Polo / LS Shirt and Navy trousers. All wear gold on navy coloured epaulettes.
  • Rural Fire Service operational officers combination of Light Blue Shirt and Navy Trousers with white on Paris Blue coloured epaulettes
  • Auxiliary firefighters wear a Paris Blue uniform and are distinguished by red on Paris Blue coloured epaulettes.
  • Career firefighters wear a Paris Blue uniform and are distinguished by white on Paris Blue coloured epaulettes.

Ranks of the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services are as follows:

Fire and Rescue Service Career Firefighter[edit]

  • 4th Class Firefighter – Paris Blue epaulette with white embroidered "FIRE & RESCUE"
  • 3rd Class Firefighter – Paris Blue epaulette with white embroidered "FIRE & RESCUE" and single chevron
  • 2nd Class Firefighter – Paris Blue epaulette with white embroidered "FIRE & RESCUE" and double chevron
  • 1st Class Firefighter – Paris Blue epaulette with white embroidered "FIRE & RESCUE" and triple chevron
  • Senior Firefighter – Paris Blue epaulette with white embroidered "FIRE & RESCUE", triple chevron and gold crossed axes
  • Leading Firefighter – Paris Blue epaulette with white embroidered "FIRE & RESCUE","LEADING FIREFIGHTER" with triple chevron and gold crossed axes
  • Station Officer – Paris Blue epaulette with white embroidered "FIRE & RESCUE" and double impeller
  • Inspector – Paris Blue epaulette with white embroidered "FIRE & RESCUE" and triple impeller
  • Superintendent – Paris Blue epaulette with white embroidered "FIRE & RESCUE", single impeller and crown
  • Chief Superintendent – Paris Blue epaulette with white embroidered "FIRE & RESCUE", double impeller and crown
  • Assistant Commissioner – Paris Blue epaulette with white embroidered "Fire and Emergency Services", crossed branches with laurels
  • Deputy Commissioner – Paris Blue epaulette with white embroidered "Fire and Emergency Services", crossed branches with laurels and a single impeller
  • Commissioner – Paris Blue epaulette with white embroidered "Fire and Emergency Services", crossed branches with laurels and a single crown

Fire and Rescue Service Auxiliary Firefighter (on-call 24-7)[edit]

  • Auxiliary Support – Paris Blue epaulette with red embroidered 'FIRE & RESCUE' and 'AUXILIARY SUPPORT'
  • Firefighter – Paris Blue epaulette with red embroidered 'FIRE & RESCUE' (Grade 1 & 2)
  • Firefighter (5 Years) – Paris Blue epaulette with red embroidered 'FIRE & RESCUE' with single bar
  • Firefighter (10 Years) – Paris Blue epaulette with red embroidered 'FIRE & RESCUE' with double bar
  • Firefighter (15 Years) – Paris Blue epaulette with red embroidered 'FIRE & RESCUE' with triple bar
  • Lieutenant – Paris Blue epaulette with red embroidered 'FIRE & RESCUE' and single impeller
  • Captain – Paris Blue epaulette with red embroidered 'FIRE & RESCUE' and double impeller

Fire & Rescue Scientific Branch[edit]

Volunteers[edit]

  • Volunteer Scientific Officer – Paris Blue epaulette with light blue embroidered 'SCIENTIFIC'
  • Volunteer Scientific Officer (5 Years) – Paris Blue epaulette with light blue embroidered 'SCIENTIFIC' with single bar
  • Volunteer Scientific Officer (10 Years) – Paris Blue epaulette with light blue embroidered 'SCIENTIFIC' with double bar
  • Volunteer Scientific Officer (15 Years) – Paris Blue epaulette with light blue embroidered 'SCIENTIFIC' with triple bar

Volunteers (Brisbane Based)[edit]

  • Scientific Support Officer – Paris Blue epaulette with light blue embroidered 'SCIENTIFIC'
  • Scientific Support Officer (5 Years) – Paris Blue epaulette with light blue embroidered 'SCIENTIFIC' with single bar
  • Scientific Support Officer (10 Years) – Paris Blue epaulette with light blue embroidered 'SCIENTIFIC' with double bar
  • Scientific Support Officer (15 Years) – Paris Blue epaulette with light blue embroidered 'SCIENTIFIC' with triple bar

Permanent Officers[edit]

  • Inspector – Paris Blue epaulette with white embroidered "FIRE & RESCUE" and triple impeller
  • Chief Superintendent – Paris Blue epaulette with white embroidered "FIRE & RESCUE" and double impeller and crown

Rural Fire Service (Mainly Volunteer on-call 24-7)[edit]

Volunteers[edit]

  • Member – Paris Blue epaulette with gold embroidered 'RURAL'
  • Firefighter – Paris Blue epaulette with gold embroidered 'RURAL' and single bar
  • Senior Firefighter – Paris Blue epaulette with gold embroidered 'RURAL' and double bar
  • Crew Leader –Paris Blue epaulette with gold embroidered 'RURAL' and triple bar
  • Officer – Paris Blue epaulette with gold embroidered 'RURAL' and single impeller
  • 1st Officer – Paris Blue epaulette with gold embroidered 'RURAL' and double impeller

Representational Positions[edit]

  • Deputy Group Officer – Paris Blue epaulette with gold embroidered 'RURAL' and single impeller with bar
  • Group Officer – Paris Blue epaulette with gold embroidered 'RURAL' and double impeller with bar

Staff (Paid)[edit]

  • Rural Officer 1 – Paris Blue epaulette with white embroidered bar
  • Rural Officer 2 – Paris Blue epaulette with double white embroidered bar
  • Inspector – Paris Blue epaulette with white embroidered triple impeller
  • Superintendent – Paris Blue epaulette with white embroidered single impeller and crown
  • Chief Superintendent – Paris Blue epaulette with white embroidered double impeller and crown
  • Assistant Commissioner – Paris Blue epaulette with white embroidered crossed branches with laurels

State Emergency Service (Mainly Volunteer on-call 24-7)[edit]

Ranks

Honours and awards[edit]

Medals[edit]

Queensland Fire and Emergency Service medals and ribbons are worn in accordance with the strict Order of Precedence below, from centre to right. The award with the highest precedence is worn closest to the centre of the chest and on the top row of ribbon bars when more than four awards are worn.[1]

QFES Commissioners Medal for Valor ribbon.png Commissioner's Medal for Valour
QFES Commissioners Distinguished Service Medal ribbon.png Commissioner's Distinguished Service Medal
QFES Commissioners Commendation for Bravery ribbon.png Commissioner's Commendation for Bravery
QFES Commissioners Meritorious Service Award ribbon.png Commissioner's Meritorious Service Award
QFES Medal ribbon.png QFES Medal
QFES SES Meritorious Service Medal ribbon.png SES Meritorious Service Medal
QFES Diligent And Ethical Service Medal ribbon.png Diligent And Ethical Service Medal

Citations[edit]

Citations are worn centrally, 5mm above the nameplate on the right breast pocket of service shirts, tunics and coats. The Order of Precedence for Queensland Fire and Emergency Service citations is as follows:[1]

Commissioner's Unit Citation
G20 Citation
2010-2011 Queensland Flood and Cyclone Citation device.jpg 2010-2011 Queensland Flood and Cyclone Citation

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b State of Queensland (Queensland Fire and Emergency Services) (November 2016). "Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Honours and Awards 2016" (PDF). Queensland Fire and Emergency Services. Retrieved 16 June 2017. 

External links[edit]