• 25 Feb 2021 10:31 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Planning for District Training this year is well advanced and there is a huge amount of training planned. Courses range from introductory level courses such as Bushfire Fighter through to specialty training such as Compressed Air Breathing Apparatus and Advanced Structure Fire Fighting.

    The table below sets out current planned courses.

    To nominate for a course, first check you satisfy any prerequisites. Then complete the nomination form and submit it to the Training Ofiicer, Tom Laslett (tom@laslett.life or 0401 226 461). Training nominations generally open 6 weeks ahead of the course date and close 4 weeks before the course starts.

    Training Nomination Form - Individual 2019.pdf

    Information about all the courses provided by the RFS, including prerequisites, is in this booklet.


     Course  Details
     Bushfire Fighter (BF)

    Training is completed in our Brigade

    New intake commencing February 2021

    District assessment dates are:

    28 February
    18 April
    12 June
    1 Aug

     Village Fire Fighter (VF) Course 1 (Mar 18th, Mar 20th, Mar 21st, Apr 8th, Apr 10th)

    Course 2 (24th, 26th, 27th June, 8th & 10th July)

    Breathing Apparatus Operator / Advanced Structure Firefighting (BAO/ASF) Course 1 (28th Apr, 1st May, 2nd May, 16th May, 30th May, 13th June)

    SIRFB Recert Date (9th October)

     Advanced Firefighter (AF) AF –WFB Course 1 (Feb 20th & Feb 27th)

    AF – WFB Course 2 (8th & 15th May)

    AF – HYD (16th Mar, 20th Mar, 21st Mar)

    AF – CSW (3rd Apr, 10th Apr, 3rd May, 10th May)

    AF – NAV Course 1 (17th Apr, 18th Apr)

    AF – NAV Course 2 (22nd & 23rd May)

     First Aid / Basic Life Support (FAA) Course 1 (13th & 14th Feb)

    Course 2 (13th & 14th Mar)

    Course 3 (8th & 9th May)

    Course 4 (5th & 6th June)

     Advanced Resuscitation (ART) Course 1 (27th Feb)

    Course 2 (27th Mar)

    Course 3 (22nd May) 

     Safe Working on Roofs (SWR)

    Course 1 (17th Feb & 20th Feb)

    Course 2 (24th Feb & 27th Feb)

    Course 3 (17th Mar & 20th Mar)

    Course 4 (24th Mar & 27th Mar)

    Refresher Course (17th April OR 18th April)

    Course 5 (19th May & 22nd May)

    Course 6 (26th May & 29th May)

    Course 7 (16th June & 19th June)

    Course 8 (29th June & 3rd July)

     Crew Leader (CL) CL-Wildfire (18th Feb, 25th Feb, 28th Feb)

    CL-Village (1st Apr, 8th Apr, 15th Apr, 18th Apr)

    CL-SUP (6th May, 13th May, 20th May, 23rd May, 6th June) 



  • 16 Feb 2021 9:34 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The RFS's new Activ app is now available and our Brigade has moved to it. So if you are still using BART or Rover it's time to get rid of them and install the new app.

    You can download Activ from either the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

    To sign in you'll need your myRFS userid and password. If you don't have them head to https://www.myrfs.nsw.gov.au and use the self help tool to reset it. If you need further help contact the Help Desk (details are on that page) or contact one of the Brigade Officers.

    There are some great things about RFS Activ including:

    • members can be indicate if they are responding to an incident (as you could in BART and Rover)
    • members can set their availability so we have a good idea of who is likely to respond
    • District Office and the RFS State Operations Centre can see who is responding and request additional resources if required

    The next big steps forward for our Brigade are:

    • to move Brigade training events to Activ (starting February 2021)
    • for all members to update their availability in Activ

    You can read more about how to do this in that training material attached.

    RFS ACTIV Training Pack V2).pdf

    RFS ACTIV FAQs V10.pdf

  • 16 Feb 2021 9:19 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Based on the After Action Review (AAR) that we completed after the recent motor vehicle accident on the island we've made changes to the way our Brigade is paged for medical emergencies.

    Effective immediately, when a 000 call is received from someone on Scotland Island and they request Ambulance the CFR team will be paged and the regular members of the Brigade will also be paged.

    The CFR team will focus on getting to the scene and providing medical assistance.

    Regular Brigade members will focus on assisting by providing transport. This will generally involve picking up NSW Ambulance Paramedics from a wharf and transporting them to the scene. On occasion it may also require responding SI Boat to Church Point to pick up paramedics or other emergency agency staff.

    The Officer In Charge of the incident (generally this would be Peter Lalor, Ian White, Craig Laslett or Stuart Laughton) will coordinate transport requirements. As a priority they will contact Water Police to confirm if they are available to transport paramedics and pass this information on to other members that are responding.

    We are currently working with District Office to arrange an additional vehicle for transporting paramedics. When this is finalised the intent is for the CFR team to respond in SI PC and regular Brigade members to provide pick up transport using another vehicle. This will be efficient and will also ensure that SI PC is not required to leave the scene of the incident.


  • 16 Feb 2021 8:55 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On the 7th February 6 members of our Brigade were invited to Mooney Mooney to trial the new RFS medium configuration boat known as Engineering 15.

    Engineering 15 is a prototype intended for use to test and refine the design. Our overall impression was the boat is very, very good and represents a significant step up in fire fighting and emergency response capabilities in our area.

    We've provided our feedback on the boat to District Office who will pass it back to RFS Engineering. Hopefully the feedback will inform the final design for the boat.

    A new boat has been ordered to replace our current boat. The delivery date for the new boat is not yet known. A request for tender has to be issued, a contract has to be awarded and the boat has to built. So it will take some time.

    If you're interested in more information on the new boat please let one of the Brigade Officers know and we can provide you with a copy our detailed report.



  • 16 Feb 2021 8:42 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The RFS is issuing a new, safer and more functional helmet to all members. The new helmet, known as a BR9 also provides a range of fittings for things like torches and ear muffs. A number of torches and ear muff sets will be distributed to Brigades as part of this project.

    The new helmets are being funded from the Donations Fund - using money that has been donated to the RFS.

    An order has been placed for a new helmet for all Scotland Island members. At this stage, we aren't sure when they will arrive. When they do arrive, you can keep your existing helmet as a spare (if it's in good condition).

  • 16 Feb 2021 5:23 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The RFS has been developing a new Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system to manage the process of dispatching incidents.

    The new CAD system will speed up our response time to incidents by ensuring the nearest and most appropriate resources are dispatched.

    There are a number of significant changes the new CAD system will bring including:

    • it will be appliance based rather than Brigade based - so the nearest, most appropriate appliance will be dispatched regardless of traditional Brigade boundaries
    • it will rely on the Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) technology previously deployed on RFS vehicles to determine which appliance to dispatch
    • the new CAD will integrate with the CAD systems used by other emergency services. Initially this will only be FRNSW but it may include NSW Ambulance in the future which will speed up responses to medical emergencies
    • the new CAD system will integrate with the Status Panels previously installed in RFS vehicles. This means you can simply press the appropriate button to indicate your status - responding / on scene etc. You can still do this by radio as well
    • work is underway to integrate the CAD system with member availability in the RFS Activ app

    While there is a lot changing in the background things should be pretty much the same for us when we get a pager message or RFS Activ message. It should just get to us faster and with fewer hand-offs which should mean we can better serve our community.

  • 20 Sep 2016 3:44 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    At this time of year many residents think about burning off excess vegetation which might become a fire hazard in summer. This kind of planning should be applauded, but there are some rules that need to be followed to ensure that burns are conducted safely and comply with government and fire regulations.

    What kind of approval do you need?

    The first step is to determine the reason for the burn. If the burn is to reduce bush fire hazards you can get a Bush Fire Hazard Reduction Certificate free of charge from the Rural Fire Service. You should contact the Northern Beaches Fire Control Centre on 02 9450 3000. If your planned burn is for some other purpose you should contact Northern Beaches Council for advice about what approval you require. 

    You can access the application form for an RFS Hazard Reduction Certificate and other useful information here

    Do you need a Fire Permit?

    If your burn is planned during the Bushfire Danger Period, which usually runs from 1 October to 31 March each year, or your burn poses a danger to a building, you will also need a Fire Permit. The aim of a Fire Permit is to ensure your burn is conducted safely. It may impose specific conditions on the way the burn is managed.

    Fire Permits for burns on Scotland Island are issued by Officers of the Scotland Island RFS - Peter Lalor, Ian White, Craig Laslett and Stuart Laughton.

    You can request a Fire Permit by contacting Scotland Island RFS on 02 9999 4404. Please provide a reasonable amount of time for an RFS Officer to complete an inspection prior to the date of your planned burn.

    Who do you need to notify?

    At least 24 hours before you commence your burn you must notify the RFS of your intention to burn. You can do this by calling the number on your Hazard Reduction Certificate or through the RFS web site. You must also notify your neighbours at least 24 hours before you start your burn.

    What happens on Total Fire Ban days?

    On the day you plan to start your burn check the weather conditions and forecast. If there is a Total Fire Ban you cannot start your burn – even if you have a Fire Permit. On Total Fire Ban days all Fire Permits are automatically suspended.

    For further information please refer to the Rural Fire Service web site www.rfs.nsw.gov.au or contact Scotland Island RFS on 02 9999 4404.

  • 07 Feb 2013 11:07 AM | Anonymous member

    Scotland Island Rural Fire Brigade was formed in the Easter holidays of 1955 when a small number of residents, mostly weekenders, met at ‘Bangalla’ and formed a progress association. Their first priority was to establish the Scotland Island Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade to organise the individual efforts of the Island and the Western Foreshores.


    A shed was constructed by the residents near Tennis Wharf and the first fire vehicle, a jeep with a 44 gallon drum on it, was donated. Over the years, the equipment of the Brigade has improved and a new Fire Station was constructed in 1991 on the current site above Catherine Park. Since 1955, the Brigade has attended numerous house fires on the Island and several small wildfires.

    In 1939, a spot fire from a wildfire in Ku-ring-gai National Park caused a fire that burned the majority of the Island and it was cleared fire breaks around the few houses on the Island and the heavily cleared grazing land which prevented property loss.


    In 1967 a campfire on the Western side of the Island quickly raced up the hill before it was brought under control. The 1994 fires sent burning embers across the Island, but luckily they either didn’t catch alight or were put out by vigilant Islanders.

    In more recent times, the provision of a high speed Fire Boat has greatly increased the fire service area of the Brigade.


    To date, the Brigade has attended bush, structure and boat fires not just in Pittwater but also along Coal and Candle Creek and well up the Hawkesbury River.

    The Brigade also assists the NSW Water Police and NSW Ambulance Service with medical evacuations from the Island. The Brigade endeavours to provide a 24 hour emergency first aid service and assists with emergency patient transportation.


    The Station is also a centre for a number of favourite community events organised by Brigade members during the year, including ‘Christmas in July’, New Years Eve, Melbourne Cup Day and the fabulous kids film afternoons.

  • 01 Jan 1981 7:47 AM | Anonymous member

    The Land Rover Channel 7 Bush Fire Brigade Awards



    “Some day the whole bloody Island could burn down…”


    A submission by the Scotland Island Volunteer Bushfire Brigade


    Captain Bruce Lane

    Deputy Captain Bob Green


    Sometimes when even the four power driven wheels of the Brigade’s 11 year old Land Rover are spinning in a slippery amalgam of “bull-dust” and leaves on a precipitous four in one sloped fire trail, there is a gut churning fear that the fire will win.


    So far, miraculously it never has.


    But for the 560 full and part time residents of Scotland Island the threat of a helpless holocaust hangs persistently over the thickly forested knob of isolated land permanently anchored in Pittwater, some 300 metres from the mainland at Church Point and 30kms from the Sydney’s CBD.


    Most of the locals reckon that the threat takes the place of rain clouds. Scotland Island’s record of rainfall is, in a word, woeful. On any day when Sydney gets rain at all, a typical weather bureau report is likely to show Wahroonga 44pts, Punchbowl 36pts, Randwick 27pts and even nearby Avalon 19pts with Scotland Island NIL.


    Some Islanders joke that they use their rain gauges as salt shakers, and a new cottage industry has been mooted – canning and selling Scotland Island rain repellent.


    So residents have to rely on tank water and little of that, as there’s no mains pressure water available for fighting fires, except a special storage tank on the southern side of the 49-hectare Island.


    From the SIVBFB shed on the Island’s north side, it’s a 5 minute run with the 200 gallon tanker trailer, if replenishment is needed, followed by a 15 minute pumping job to fill the tanker and then further time taken to return to wherever the fire is.


    Until recent rains miraculously coaxed back the green, Scotland Island was in the grip of the worst drought in living memory. Islanders were forced into buying some imported water, or even tapping the Fire Brigade storage tank to a critical degree. So putting their own properties as well as their neighbours at increased risk.


    But Bush Fire Brigade Captain Bruce Lane reckons the situation is still extremely critical and there can be no easing of fire season restrictions till at least March. The 1980/81 Fire Season opened one month early last year and was followed by an abnormally high number of Total Fire Ban days.


    The Brigade and its 43 volunteer members have had a number of alerts and several dramatic saves.


    One terrified “new chum” who was “just doing a little burning off” in ignorance of a total fire ban, only lost one tree and half his beard before help arrived.


    He was lucky.


    “Someday” says one grizzled member of the SIVBFB who shudders at the capricious way some picnicking visitors still handle naked flame in the combustible climate of the Island vegetation ‘ “The whole bloody Island could burn down”.


    He isn’t kidding.


    The island’s conical shape could make it a veritable Vesuvius of horrifying incandescence – like a pile of raked leaves stacked to encourage a fiery updraught. So people on the upper slopes of the 93metre high Island are at greatest risk and also, ironically, least accessible.


    Cleared dirt “roads” encircle the Island and part of its heights, but some houses “up in the mulga” are accessible only by primitive fire trails over which the Brigade’s elderly Land Rover cannot tow the water tanker with any degree of certainty.


    The unique vulnerability of the Island’s isolation therefore makes the upgrading of the Brigade’s equipment one of alarming urgent priority. Squatting between the wilderness of Kuringai National Park and the exclusive suburbs of the Northern Beaches Peninsular, the Island is suddenly experiencing a population explosion that is both intensifying fire risk and putting added strains the limited fire-fighting resources,


    While most Metropolitan Bushfire Brigades, all except far flung rural ones, can depend on a measure of outside assistance in real emergencies, Scotland Island must face the fact, that in the case of any flash fires it must go it alone. The difficulty of transporting sophisticated fire fighting equipment across the moat of Pittwater precludes immediate assistance


    Added to the function of protection of the glorious stand of bush and towering gums that are a major attraction of the Island, is the further vital ability to deal with the ever present threat of a house fire.


    First sighted and visited by Governor Philip on March 2 1788, Scotland Island was reputedly named because the Island’s appearance on a grey misty day reminded him of a Scottish Loch. Granted to a former convict, Andrew Thompson, on January 10,1810, settlement on the Island was slow. For a time Thompson had a profitable shipbuilding business in the bay now marked by “Tennis Wharf”. Appropriately it was not far from the site where Island volunteers are now building the new Community Hall.


    There are stories of buried treasure on the Island and the secret hideaway of a notorious Sydney sly grog queen, but for over a hundred years travel by row boat kept population down to a few hardy souls with broad backs and strong arms.


    Even as recently as 5 years ago, growth averaged no more than four or five houses per year.


    The Sydney real estate boom changed all that.


    In 1976, The Australia Day issue of the Island’s occasional newspaper SINEWS reported 149 dwellings. This years issue has tallied 207 and a further 50 new houses are predicted for this year alone. At this rate with only 365 available building blocks the Island could soon be showing a NO VACANCY sign.


    Because the logistics of building on an Island make it easier to build in more inflammable timber, the potential for losses by fire will rise accordingly.


    A philosopher once said “no man is an Island” but when you live on one, as lovely yet so vulnerable to the horror of fire, you need, despite the resident’s determined self-reliance, all the help you can get.

Views expressed on this website do not necessarily represent those of the NSW Rural Fire Service. During an emergency, do not rely on information placed on this site, please reference the NSW RFS website at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au, or call 1800 NSW RFS for emergency information. This site is not monitored 24/7.

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