NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons is stepping down as head of the volunteer organisation to take on a new government role. Source: Timberbiz
Mr Fitzsimmons was RFS Commissioner for 12 years and his decision to leave comes after overseeing an unprecedented 2019-2020 bushfire season across NSW.
He will now lead a newly created government agency called Resilience NSW, designed to plan for disasters and then provide a roadmap for recovery.
The Berejiklian Government has pointed to bushfires, drought and now COVID-19 as disasters which require attention.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the agency would be devoted to “world-leading disaster preparedness and recovery”.
“The NSW community has shown extraordinary resilience in the face of many disasters — bushfires, drought, flood and now the COVID-19 pandemic,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“Through Resilience NSW, we will redouble our efforts to prevent, prepare and recover from crises which impact NSW.”
Mr Fitzsimmons joined the RFS in 1985 and held a number of senior roles until his appointment as commissioner in 2008.
Commenting on the appointment, the 51-year-old said it had been an honour to serve the people of NSW in his capacity as RFS commissioner. He will remain at the NSW RFS until May