Interested in rescue resources that cover topics such as search and rescue, swiftwatLIFESAVERS: Paramedics and firefighters rescue a 23-year-old-woman trapped in her car off Molong Road. Photo: STEVE GOSCHer rescue, and motor vehicle rescue, then here are some suggestions.

Australian Maritime Safety Authority Search and Rescue

This website provides information about the AMSA search and rescue capabilities.

Office of Emergency Management - New South Wales Government

This government organisation's website provides information for the community on preparing for, responding to and recovering from disasters; in addition to information for the emergency management sector. A list of guidelines, legislation, and policies, are available to download from their webpage. This includes the NSW State Rescue Board Policies on State Rescue Policy, Flood Rescue, the Vertical Rescue Directive and Rescue Vehicle Drivers Directive

National Search and Rescue Council (NATSAR), Australia

The mission of the National Search and Rescue Council is to develop and maintain an effective, efficient and integrated national search and rescue system that meets international obligations and domestic requirements. Their website is here.

National Search and Rescue Manual is the standard reference document for use by all search and rescue authorities and other organisations that provide search and rescue services in Australia. It is available at this link.

National Land Search Operations Manual has been developed by a national working party consisting of representatives from the Search and Rescue authorities that make up the NATSAR council and with due regard to the International Aviation and Maritime Search and Rescue Manual (IAMSAR). It is available at this link.

Emergency Manual Australia - Australian Disaster Resilience Handbook Collection

The Australian Emergency Manuals Series had been developed to assist in the management and delivery of support services in a disaster context. It comprises principles, strategies and actions, compiled by practitioners with management and service delivery experience in a range of disaster events. The manuals include road rescue, urban search and rescue and flood response. In 2015 the Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience became the custodian of this collection and it now called the Australian Disaster Resilience Handbook Collection.

Manuals developed by AIDR after 2011 are known as the Australian Disaster Resilience Handbook Collection. This handbook collection is found at this AIDR Knowledge Hub Handbook webpage.

The Emergency Managment manual series has not been reviewed since 2011.

EM manuals which are under review or classed as archived are kept in their online archives.


The US NFPA Fire Codes are developed and published by the US National Fire Protection Association to minimise the possibility and effects of fire and other risks. The collection includes the US NFPA Fire Code 556 Guide on Methods for Evaluating Fire Hazard to Occupants of Passenger Road Vehicles, 2016 Edition and the US NFPA Fire Code 1670 Standard on Operations and Training for Technical Search and Rescue Incidents, 2017 Edition.

Free access to NFPA Code 556 is available using this NFPA link. Free access to NFPA Code 1670 is available using this NFPA link.

NSW RFS staff are able to access the collection of codes using a password provided on the RFS Intranet library website under Online Resources.


Search and rescue leadership / edited by Bernard Fontaine and Christy Judah

This text teaches the crew leader to become an effective and efficient searcher and leader. It covers topics such as leadership styles, characteristics of a good leader, and practices which encourage effective team participation in the management of various resources. Topics include: command structure and integration, safety practices, map reading and navigation, search tactics, and the study of lost person behavior. It explains random traveling choices of a lost person, in addition to behaviours such as route and direction sampling. This text provides an overview of hazardous terrain, search practices, search probability, applicable reports, and the calculation of POD and POS.

Vehicle extrication level I & II : principles and practice

Technical rescuers need to know how to safely and effectively operate at small and large vehicle and machinery extrication incidents. This book provides all the critical knowledge and skills necessary for technical rescue teams to perform in these environments. It meets and exceeds all the job performance requirements as outlined in chapters 4, 5, and 10 from the 2008 Edition of NFPA 1006, Standard for Technical Rescuer Professional Qualifications to achieve the competencies as a Level I and II Vehicle and Machinery technical rescuer.

Water rescue principles and practice to NFPA 1006 and 1670 - surface, swiftwater, dive, ice, surf, and flood

A complete resource for water rescue personnel and their organisations. All six sub-disciplines are broken down into Awareness, Operations and Technician level chapters to better help you and your organisation train to the levels your organisation is ready to deliver in your response area.

HAZMAT guide for first responders / Michael L. Madigan (eBook)

The goal of this US published book is to help train hazmat response teams and other responders in disaster training, techniques, and planning.The book will also help define and sharpen training plans and assumptions. Focusing on lessons learned from real-world experiences during actual disasters, the book will help to establish a well-trained professional 1st responder, individuals, and teams.

This title is only available as an ebook version (PDF format) in our collection. Please contact the library for the link and logon details.

Climbing self-rescue : improving solutions for serious situations / Andy Tyson and Molly Loomis

The rope is stuck - or too short. A crucial piece of gear is MIA. You've wandered off route into dicey terrain. An injury leaves you or your partner in need of help. In Climbing: Self Rescue, two longtime climbing instructors and guides teach how to improve your own solutions, calling for outside help only when necessary.

Protect and preserve incident scene : PUALAW001B

This document is part of the support materials for the unit of competency, PUALAW001B Protect and preserve incident scene.

The wilderness first responder : how to recognize, treat, and prevent emergencies in the backcountry / Buck Tilton

A text for the recognition, treatment, and prevention of wilderness emergencies.

Survival at sea : a training and instruction manual / Australian Maritime Safety Authority.

Written in simple and practical language the manual describes how to equip your craft with survival gear, properly stowed and organised, and what to do when abandoning a ship.


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Our librarian is Katie Vandine.

We are located on the ground floor of the NSW RFS Head Office at 15 Carter Street, Lidcombe NSW 2141.

You can contact us via phone on 02 8741 5455 or via email at

Our postal address is Locked Bag 17, Granville NSW 2142. This address can be used for returning books.

The library is open 9:00am to 4:00pm. Monday – Friday. Closed weekends and public holidays.

If you are visiting, please contact the Library to check opening times.

NSW RFS training manuals

Use the search box below to locate hardcopy editions of NSW RFS training manuals and workbooks that are available for loan from your Library. Manuals and workbooks are available for a month’s loan.

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Search the Bush Fire Bulletin online

Search the complete collection of the Bush Fire Bulletin and the Bush Fire Council’s Sitrep Bulletin (published 1976-1978) in Trove by using the search box in the image above and clicking Go. More information on searching can be located on the Bush Fire Bulletin website or contacting your library.

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