New vessel and equipment boost firefighters' safety this summer

Sydney’s bushfire fighting capabilities will be boosted ahead of summer, with the NSW Government today unveiling a new purpose-built vessel and announcing the roll-out of new safety equipment for National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) firefighting vehicles.

The Basin track and Mackerel track, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park

Environment Minister Matt Kean said the new NPWS vessel, Nawi 1, was named in consultation with the local Metropolitan Aboriginal Land Council.

“NAWI 1 will improve NPWS’ water-based incident response capabilities around the Hawkesbury River and Sydney Harbour’s small islands and bushland,” Mr Kean said.

“The vessel will be utilised for hazard reduction burns and wildfires to transport crews to locations that are more easily accessible by water.

“The boat is specially fitted with a firefighting water pump to directly attack fire fronts from the water or to attach fire hoses.”

Moored off Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, the new vessel will also transport vital equipment allowing NPWS crews to undertake conservation works, maintenance and marine mammal rescues including whale disentanglements.

In a further boost to the Service all CAT9s, NPWS’ key firefighting vehicles, will be equipped with Automated External Defibrillators (AED).

“The first of more than 280 defib packs are in the process of being mounted within the vehicle cabins and staff will undergo further first aid training,” Mr Kean said.

“These life saving devices will provide a rapid response capability for more than 1000 trained firefighters that work as part of the NPWS team across the state, often in remote locations, in the event of a cardiac arrest.”

In addition to ongoing fire training the NPWS hazard reduction program for 2020 is focussed on essential burns to protect park neighbours, assets or significant habitat to ensure ongoing recovery of the wildlife impacted by the summer bushfires.