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New firefighters to bring permanent staffing to Tamworth

Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson today announced the number of Fire & Rescue NSW (FRNSW) firefighters in Tamworth is set to double, giving the city permanent, 24-hour staffing for the first time.

Minister for Emergency Services Troy Grant said the increase, which will be in place by the end of 2017, would mean faster responses in the event of emergency. 

“Tamworth is a vital regional centre with a growing population, and it’s important we meet this growth by ensuring the community is as safe and secure as possible,” Mr Grant said.

“Over the past few years, Kevin Anderson has lobbied hard for the expansion and I am pleased that today we are delivering increased capacity for Tamworth.”

Mr Anderson said the announcement was a win for the local community.

“Tamworth’s firefighters have responded to around 770 incidents a year over the last five years,” Mr Anderson said.

“This is an enormous workload and it’s one our local firefighters have managed well. However, Tamworth is growing and with it is the need for a 24/7, permanent staffing capability.

“Not only does this give the public a greater sense of safety, it also allows FRNSW to better support its community engagement work, such as school visits and public education.” 

“This announcement means that our firefighting capability will now be brought into line with similar-sized regional cities, such as Dubbo, Albury, Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour.”

FRNSW Acting Commissioner, Jim Hamilton said Tamworth’s capacity will double to a complement of 20 permanent firefighters.

“At the moment, 10 permanent FRNSW firefighters are rostered on in Tamworth between 6.00am and 6.00pm, with retained (on-call) firefighters providing protection at other times.

“By the end of the year, FRNSW will put in place permanent staffing, 24 hours-a-day, seven days a week. Additionally, a crew of retained firefighters will be maintained to support their permanent colleagues as required.

“Both the permanent and retained crews do a fantastic job in ensuring the safety of the community and the additional positions will simply enhance this already great service.

“All of this means a stronger firefighter capability is in place to service Tamworth Airport and for major events like the Tamworth Country Music Festival.”

FRNSW will be undertaking interim modification work on the Carthage Street fire station to house the additional firefighter numbers. 

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