Jeremy Fewtrell has been appointed Commissioner of Fire and Rescue NSW.
NSW Minister for Emergency Services Jihad Dib has appointed Jeremy Fewtrell AFSM to the role of Commissioner of Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW).
With around 7,000 full-time and on-call firefighters operating from a network of 335 fire stations, six of which are on the Northern Beaches, FRNSW provides rapid response to fire, rescue and other emergencies.
Minister for Emergency Services Jihad Dib (main image, left) said yesterday (Monday, 30 October) he was pleased to announce Jeremy Fewtrell (main image, right) as the state’s chief firefighter.
“I am pleased to announce Jeremy Fewtrell will be the new Commissioner of Fire and Rescue NSW. Jeremy is a highly accomplished emergency services leader who has dedicated his career to keeping the people of NSW safe with a quarter of a century of service at Fire and Rescue NSW.
“He has shown his leadership and management abilities time and again, both in high-pressure scenarios and in peacetime, and has proven he is ready to take the helm of this critical first response agency. I look forward to working with the new Commissioner closely to deliver on the Minns Government’s commitment to ensure this vital service is strong and sustainable into the future,” said Minister Dib.
The appointment follows a competitive recruitment process undertaken by the Department of Communities and Justice, in which a number of potential candidates were considered. Following the departure of former Commissioner Paul Baxter, who was an external appointment, the selection of Commissioner Fewtrell shows a desire to focus on stability under the leadership of an internal candidate, well versed in the operational areas, capabilities and people of FRNSW.
Commissioner Fewtrell joined FRNSW in 1997, serving in frontline firefighting roles, before rising through the ranks to manage multiple areas, including the Fire Investigation and Research Unit (FIRU), and most recently as Deputy Commissioner of Field Operations.
He oversaw the FRNSW emergency response to major incidents such as the recent Surry Hills warehouse fire and the Greta bus crash, and played a key leadership role in major disasters such as the 2019-2020 Black Summer bushfires and the 2022 floods.
He was also responsible for significant projects into smoke alarms and sprinklers. This involved the CSIRO and multiple stakeholders in research, which resulted in key changes to the Building Code of Australia.
As Capability Manager for Firefighting, he was instrumental in developing an Aerial Appliance Strategy for equipment used at major fire incidents that is crucial as increasing numbers of people live in multi-level apartment buildings.
Along with his extensive operational and leadership experience, Commissioner Fewtrell holds a Master of Business Administration and was awarded the Australian Fire Service Medal (AFSM) on Australia Day 2021.
Commissioner Fewtrell said it was an ‘honour’ to be selected to lead Fire and Rescue NSW.
“Fire and Rescue NSW has a proud history of serving the community for 140 years. It is an honour, a privilege, and a dream come true to be selected as its next Commissioner.
“My priority as Commissioner is to ensure FRNSW continues to deliver exceptional prevention and emergency response services to the NSW community.
“Every four minutes, a FRNSW truck is rolling out the door to an emergency. My intention and direction is to ensure those men and women are supported with the best training, equipment and systems from across our organisation to ensure we can deliver on our mission to protect the irreplaceable in the community, whenever and wherever we are needed,” said Commissioner Fewtrell.
Commissioner Fewtrell is appointed to the role effective immediately (Monday, 30 October 2023).
Images: Fire and Rescue NSW