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 Police, Fire and Emergency Services
Mark Ryan, 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 Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) State Emergency Service (SES) Rural Fire Service (RFS)
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 Mark Ryan [1], Minister for the Police, Fire 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 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 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 professional 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, and is the volunteer side of the Rural Fire Service. They are mainly responsible for responding to bushfires and have some land management capability.

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 (grass fires) mitigation is the primary role of the Rural Fire Service in non urban areas. Rural Fire Brigades, in conjunction with Rural Fire Service permanent staff, 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 professional 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 grass 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.

Deployments and assistance during disasters[edit]

Rural Fire Service volunteers are often sent on deployment to assist other states during fire disasters. 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.

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 (Auxiliary) firefighters to staff its more than 240 urban fire and rescue stations, with volunteers making up the rural bushfire brigades. The uniform is as follows:

  • Volunteer bushfire brigades wear Proban treated turn-out ensemble (Yellow)with gold on navy coloured epaulettes. Rural Training officers and Managers wear light blue
  • Auxiliary firefighters wear a navy uniform and are distinguished by red on black coloured epaulettes.
  • Professional firefighters wear a navy uniform and are distinguished by white on black coloured epaulettes.

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

Fire and Rescue Service Professional Firefighter[edit]

  • 4th Class Firefighter – Navy epaulette with white embroidered "FIRE & RESCUE"
  • 3rd Class Firefighter – Navy epaulette with white embroidered "FIRE & RESCUE" and single chevron
  • 2nd Class Firefighter – Navy epaulette with white embroidered "FIRE & RESCUE" and double chevron
  • 1st Class Firefighter – Navy epaulette with white embroidered "FIRE & RESCUE" and triple chevron
  • Senior Firefighter – Navy epaulette with white embroidered "FIRE & RESCUE", triple chevron and gold crossed axes
  • Leading Firefighter – Navy epaulette with white embroidered "FIRE & RESCUE","LEADING FIREFIGHTER" with triple chevron and gold crossed axes
  • Station Officer – Navy epaulette with white embroidered "FIRE & RESCUE" and double impeller
  • Inspector – Navy epaulette with white embroidered "FIRE & RESCUE" and triple impeller
  • Superintendent – Navy epaulette with white embroidered "FIRE & RESCUE", single impeller and crown
  • Chief Superintendent – Navy epaulette with white embroidered "FIRE & RESCUE", double impeller and crown
  • Assistant Commissioner – Navy epaulette with white embroidered "Fire and Emergency Services", crossed branches with laurels
  • Deputy Commissioner – Navy epaulette with white embroidered "Fire and Emergency Services", crossed branches with laurels and a single impeller
  • Commissioner – Navy 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 – Navy epaulette with red embroidered 'FIRE & RESCUE' and 'AUXILIARY SUPPORT'
  • Firefighter – Navy epaulette with red embroidered 'FIRE & RESCUE' (Grade 1 & 2)
  • Firefighter (5 Years) – Navy epaulette with red embroidered 'FIRE & RESCUE' with single bar
  • Firefighter (10 Years) – Navy epaulette with red embroidered 'FIRE & RESCUE' with double bar
  • Firefighter (15 Years) – Navy epaulette with red embroidered 'FIRE & RESCUE' with triple bar
  • Lieutenant – Navy epaulette with red embroidered 'FIRE & RESCUE' and single impeller
  • Captain – Navy epaulette with red embroidered 'FIRE & RESCUE' and double impeller

Fire & Rescue Scientific Branch[edit]

Volunteers[edit]

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

Volunteers (Brisbane Based)[edit]

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

Permanent Officers[edit]

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

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

Volunteers[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

Staff (Paid)[edit]

  • 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

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]