Northern Territory Fire and Rescue Service

Northern Territory Fire and Rescue Service, or NTFRS, (in conjunction with Bushfires NT[1]) is the primary provider of fire and rescue services throughout the 1.35 million square km Northern Territory of Australia. It is made up of 27 fire stations, 16 being staffed by volunteer brigade units, 5 being manned 24 hours by career fire fighters, and the remainder by a mix of career and auxiliary fire fighters.

Northern Territory Fire & Rescue Service
Logo of the NTFRS
HeadquartersIliffe St Stuart Park 0820
  • 11 Permanent stations
  • 16 Volunteer stations
Steve Rothwell
Police, Fire and Emergency Services
WebsiteOfficial website

The NTFRS is made up approximately 180 permanent staff working in the regional centres of Darwin, Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, Katherine, Nhulunbuy, Yulara and Jabiru, as well as 54 part-time auxiliaries and approximately 250 volunteers.[2]

The NTFRS is part of the NT Government "Tri-Service", Northern Territory Police, Fire and Emergency Services, or NTPFES. The CEO of the NTPFES and Commissioner of Northern Territory Police is Mr Reece Kershaw, APM. The NTPFES falls under the portfolio of the Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services.[3]


Unlike many other Australian brigades the NTFRS is relatively young. The first permanent Chief Fire Officer took command of a newly formed Darwin civil brigade on 31 October 1941, however following the Bombing of Darwin by Japanese forces during World War II, fire fighting duties were assumed by the military after general evacuation of the civilian population. This made The Northern Territory Fire Service the only capital city Australian Fire Service to serve under enemy fire. It was not until 1946 that the Darwin civil brigade was reformed, with another small brigade formed in the large regional centre of Alice Springs in 1949.

The original Darwin fire station and fire service headquarters was located in Darwin city on Daly street, this station was closed and the Iliffe street station was opened in Oct 1988. Serving outer Darwin was the Winnellie Fire station opened in 1970-71, which was closed with the opening of the Palmerston Fire station in the newly formed satellite city of Palmerston in 1984. Serving the rural area of Darwin is the Humpty Doo station that was opened in 2005. To better serve the Northern suburbs of Darwin the old Casuarina station was closed and the new Marrara fire station was opened on 14 June 2007.

The history of the NTFRS was researched and written by former Assistant Commissioner of the NT Police Bill Wilson.[4]

Organisational structure

  • Director/Chief Fire Officer - Mark Spain
  • Assistant Director Operations/Deputy Chief Fire Officer -
  • Assistant Director Development and Strategy -
  • District Officer Community Fire Safety Section -
  • District Officer Training and Development - Ian Lockley
  • District Officer Darwin and Rural -
  • District Officer Southern Division - David Letheby
  • District Officer Track Northern and Volunteers - Gerry Seville
  • District Officer Special Operations - Terry Trewin
  • District Officer Support -

Chief Fire Officers

  • Jul 2016 - current Mark Spain
  • Sep 2011 - Mar 2016 Steve Rothwell
  • Jan 2005 - Jan 2011 Greg Nettleton
  • Jan 2004 - Jan 2005 Thomas Konieczny
  • Jan 2002 - Jan 2004 Daryl Pepper
  • Jul 1992 - Jan 2002 Ian Rae
  • Jul 1990 - Jul 1992 Kenneth Copeland
  • Oct 1986 - Jul 1990 Geoffrey Skerritt
  • Oct 1984 - Oct 1986 Jeffrey Godfredson
  • Jul 1983 - Oct 1984 Alan Ferris
  • Jul 1981 - Jul 1983 William Henderson
  • Aug 1967 - Jul 1981 Peter Holtham
  • Jun 1956 - Jul 1967 George Robbins

Fire Stations

Full Time Stations

Volunteer stations

Alice Springs Rural (VFB), Bathurst Island (VFB), Bees Creek (VFB), Howard Springs (VFB), Humpty Doo (VFB), Koolpinyah (VFB), Larrimah (VFB), Virginia (VFB), Yirrkala (VFB), Adelaide River (FERG), Bachelor (FERG), Borroloola (FERG), Elliott (FERG), Mataranka (FERG), Pine Creek (FERG), Timber Creek (FERG)

VFB - Volunteer Fire Brigade.

FERG - Fire, Emergency and Rescue Group.

NTFRS Resources

NTFRS Vehicles include a new fleet of Scania medium and heavy pumpers, and older medium and heavy Freightliner pumps, an aerial appliance, numerous tankers and grass fire units, plus rescue, command and utility vehicles. The NTFRS also has trailers for Fire Investigation, Rapid Decontamination and a BA trailer for refilling SCBA Cylinders in the field.

Due to the relatively small size of the NTFRS, rather than having dedicated specialised sections, general firefighters are trained in various disciplines, including: HAZMAT, USAR, Road Crash Rescue, Paramedic, School Based Education, and Wildfire.

See also


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