The New South Wales Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) is a volunteer-based firefighting agency and statutory body of the NSW Government. The NSW RFS is responsible for the general administration of rural fire management affairs including administration of the Rural Fire Fighting Fund, co-ordination with local government of the State's Rural Fire Brigades, design and provision of fire fighting equipment to rural fire brigades through local government, the training of volunteer Rural Fire Brigade members, community education in relation to fire affairs, emergency planning and generally taking measures for the prevention of loss and life and property from fires. The NSW RFS is responsible to the NSW Minister for Police and Emergency Services, currently Mike Gallacher.
The NSW Rural Fire Service's jurisdiction covers more than 90% of the geographical area of the state of New South Wales in Australia. The NSW RFS claims to be the world's largest volunteer fire service, with 70,448 volunteer firefighters forming 2039 volunteer brigades across the state, although this figure includes many inactive volunteer members. The service also employs 920 paid staff who fulfill the senior operational management and administrative roles of the service (current January 2009).
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