Emergency services

Emergency services refers to the front-line services that protect the community by minimising the impact of hazards, natural disasters and emergency incidents. This includes Fire and Rescue NSW, Rural Fire Service (RFS) and State Emergency Service (SES).


Emergency services in NSW


permanent firefighters in Fire and Rescue NSW.1


volunteers in the NSW Rural Fire Service.2


volunteers in the NSW State Emergency Service (SES).3


emergency incidents attended by Fire and Rescue NSW.1


total incidents attended by the NSW Rural Fire Service.2


calls to the SES from the public.3

How are customers experiencing these services?

We asked customers how well we were delivering on our Customer Commitments based on their experience with emergency services in NSW. Here’s what they said is working well and where we need to improve.

What are we doing well?

The following statements highlight areas that most respondents agree are working well for them.

  • The information was simple to understand.
  • I was treated with respect.
  • I was treated with care.
  • They understood my situation.
  • It was easy to access the information I needed.

Where can we improve?

The following statements highlight areas that need improvement, based on the least number of respondents agreeing with the statements.

  • I felt I was able to provide feedback on how the service could be improved to better meet my needs.
  • I felt I was able to provide feedback on the service I received.
  • The process took very little time.
  • They were proactive in keeping me informed.
  • I didn’t have to wait longer than necessary for the service I required.

Here’s what customers told us about emergency services in NSW



87% of customers found these services to be easy to access.



86% felt that service staff acted with empathy in their interaction with the service.



81% of customers felt their time was respected.



83% of customers felt the service explained what to expect.



85% of customers felt their situation was resolved.



69% of customers felt the service allowed them to provide feedback.

Case study



Helping regional NSW recover from the 2019-2020 bushfires

The NSW Bushfire Clean-Up Program responded to the needs of people across NSW who lost homes and businesses to the devastating bushfires.

Banner image on this page courtesy of the Rural Fire Service (RFS).

Find out more about the report

Case studies

See examples of how we embed a customer focused approach to services, programs and initiatives.


Find out how our customers are experiencing our services. They include the people, communities and businesses of NSW.

Customer Commitments

Read about our promise to customers on what to expect when interacting with our services.

Key metrics

Find how State of the Customer reports on our goal to deliver easy, effective, and trustworthy services.


See a range of services we deliver that cater to customers with different needs and circumstances.


Return to the State of the Customer homepage.

About the emergency services data

Emergency services does not include police or ambulance services. Refer to the Police and justice and Public health services pages.

1 Fire and Rescue Annual Report 2020-21.
2 NSW Rural Fire Service Annual Report 2020/21.
3 NSW SES Annual Report 2020-21.

CXS Source: NSW Government Customer Experience Survey (CXS). About the survey methodology.

Fieldwork: January to June 2022.
Questions: Thinking about your experience with the government service…

  • How easy or difficult was it to do this?
  • How satisfied or dissatisfied were you with this experience?
  • To what extent do you trust the government service to be working in your best interests?
  • We would like your opinion on [CUSTOMER COMMITMENT]. Please indicate how strongly you agree or disagree with each of the statements below.

Base: Customers who have interacted with emergency services (excluding police and ambulance) in the last 12 months.
Sample sizes: Ease and Satisfaction (n=670), Trust (n=681), Customer Commitments (various n=532 to 681).
Definitions and notes:

  • Ease of service is calculated as the percentage of customers that selected ‘Very easy’ or ‘Somewhat easy’.
  • Satisfaction with service is calculated as the percentage of customers that selected ‘Very satisfied’ or ‘Somewhat satisfied’.
  • Trust in service is calculated as the percentage of customers that selected ‘Trust a great deal’ or ‘Somewhat trust’.
  • Responses to the Customer Commitment questions are calculated as the percentage of customers that selected ‘Strongly agree’ or ‘Somewhat agree’ and it excludes ‘Not applicable’ responses.
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