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NSW Bushfires: Radios and Volunteers |

NSW Bushfires: Radios and Volunteers

In the NSW bushfires that scorched NSW in 2013, Motorola Solutions contributed equipment and resources to help battle the flames.

On 20 October 2013, Premier Barry O’Farrell declared a state of emergency for NSW due to extreme weather and countless uncontained fires. High fuel loads coupled with hot winds created dangerous conditions which destroyed more than 190 homes in the Blue Mountains area alone. Two fatalities were attributed to the fires. 

Motorola Solutions delivered equipment and expertise to support the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) in their efforts to control the blazes. Two hundred portable radio batteries were donated to the RFS, some of which were charged and delivered directly to a staging area for immediate deployment to the fire front. Fifty single unit chargers were also donated, and a Motorola service technician put on standby around-the-clock to assist with repairs and reprogramming. Furthermore, Motorola brought 50 XTS5000 portable radios to Sydney from interstate. These radios
were charged and programmed ready for loan to the RFS, to improve communications with interstate crews.

Steve Marriott, our public safety account manager in NSW, is also a NSW RFS volunteer with almost 18 years’ experience in the service. At time of writing he had spent more than 60 hours fighting the fires in the Macarthur, Hawkesbury, Wollondilly and Blue Mountains districts. 

During this time, he fulfilled various roles including air observer, incident controller, divisional commander, crew leader and strike team leader, where he led groups of fire trucks into surrounding districts to assist the local crews to combat these large, fast-moving fire fronts.

Managing director Steve Crutchfield spoke in support of Marriott’s contribution: “Motorola Solutions is committed to the safety of our communities and to supporting the first responders who protect us around the world, and that includes in the volunteering sense. The Motorola Solutions Service Corps allows our employees to share their talents and time with organisations in our communities, such as the NSW RFS. I am always very proud to hear of our employees taking the time to contribute to the community, and Steve’s contribution is a fantastic example of that.”