TAS Rural Fire Service (RFS) Program

When the state’s first schoolboy bushfire brigade was set up in 1970 with donated equipment, it was so unique it attracted national media interest. In 2013, The Armidale School was recognised with a special Rural Fire Service award for its long and ongoing commitment to rural fire fighting.

A popular component of the TAS Activities offering, the Rural Fire Service program aims to ensure all student participants pass the entry-level RFS qualification of Bush Firefighter (BF), which allows them to participate in local hazard reductions and exercises as probationary brigade members – and hopefully, later, as full members. Training is provided in use of equipment such as portable extinguishers, pumps, hoses and nozzles, effective hazard reduction and risk minimisation.

The students also qualify for their Level 2 Chainsaw Operators Certificate.  The course is run by qualified RFS instructors and assessors. Students need to be 16 years or over to become ordinary active members of the RFS, joining either the local Dumaresq brigade or preferably for boarders, a brigade near their home.

This requires applicants to fulfill all the normal entry requirements of the Rural Fire Service, including interview and election to probationary membership of a brigade. The TAS RFS program would not be possible without the active support and guidance of staff of the NSW Rural Fire Service New England Zone, and also the Dumaresq RFS brigade for the time, expertise and patience afforded by members.