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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Fire and Emergency Services
    The Honourable Craig Crawford

    QFES to provide relief with US wildfires

    Minister for Fire and Emergency Services
    The Honourable Craig Crawford

    Tuesday, July 31, 2018

    QFES to provide relief with US wildfires

    Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) personnel will join firefighters from across Australia and New Zealand in an international effort to battle wildfires ravaging the United States (US).

    A total of 188 fire specialists from across Australia and New Zealand are set to leave for the US on Friday (3 August) to assist with response efforts, including 12 representatives from QFES.

    With approximately 89 active fires burning nearly 930,000 acres, Fire and Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford said QFES’ emergency response to the wildfires was critical in assisting US firefighters and the challenges they face.

    “QFES will deploy the very best fire specialists from across the state to assist in a number of areas, including operational support and structure protection,” Mr Crawford said.

    “The impact of these wildfires is truly devastating, and I am confident that our efforts will provide some welcome relief to all the firefighters tirelessly battling these fires.

    “QFES personnel understand firsthand the dangerous impact natural disasters have on a community and I know they’re eager to provide a first-class emergency response.”

    QFES Commissioner Katarina Carroll said international assistance was something QFES planned for and were ready for the challenges they would face.

    “I’m confident that the team we have is well-trained and highly-skilled to deal with the wildfires affecting the US,” Ms Carroll said.

    “It’s a huge credit to our QFES personnel and demonstrates the strong and respectful relationship we have within the international firefighting community.

    “The situation in the US is constantly evolving, so we want to help as much as we can, and I know our international counterparts appreciate the support and assistance we are able to provide.” 

    Over the next 48 hours, QFES personnel will undergo briefings, bag checks, and medical tests before getting on a plane to Sydney and onto the US.

    With 14 states being affected by wildfires and a number of critical roles to be filled, Ms Carroll said QFES personnel could be deployed to any number of areas being impacted by wildfires. 

    “Our QFES personnel will facilitate many roles, including managing tactical implementation and resources at the fire front, as well as being responsible for fire ground personnel,” she said.

    “It’s a considerable team effort from several fire agencies across Australia and New Zealand – one which I’m confident QFES personnel will help execute successfully.”

    ENDS

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