Media Release

March 22, 2021

Fire Brigade Employees’ Union calling for greater resources in response to climate change related natural disasters

“The FBEU is calling on the NSW government for increased resources in response to climate change related disasters including bushfires and floods,” said Leighton Drury, NSW State Secretary of Fire Brigade Employees’ Union.

“Over the last week Fire Rescue NSW has completed hundreds of flood related rescues and call-outs across the state, around eight times our normal workload.

“With the hundreds of rescues that have been done during this emergency, Minister Elliott needs to come out and back the service that saves lives and recognise that it requires additional investment.

“Minister Elliott is on record saying he would love to have a fire truck and a platoon of firefighters on every street yet there are entire suburbs without a fire station.

“FRNSW are the first responders to fires, hazmat, rescue, storm and tempest events, with volunteers as the surge capacity when these incidents are prolonged or widespread. Those volunteers do a great job but it’s FBEU members who give a guarantee of service with 90% of calls responded to within 10 minutes.

“FRNSW currently have multiple strike teams and swift water rescue teams in the field. That’s on top of response to normal daily demands. The reality is when your life shatters, firefighters are there when it matters.

“It’s obvious that the Government doesn’t want to spend money on protecting communities but to prevent blowouts in response times we need more fire stations and firefighters to serve the community.

“This disaster and last year’s bushfires show that the government needs to plan and prepare for the worst case scenario in emergency services. Sadly, the Berejiklian government closes its eyes when the worst happens.

MEDIA CONTACTS: For more or to arrange an interview with Leighton Drury, Jo Scard on 0422 337 332 or

You can download this media release here.