Each year, thousands of South Australian emergency services workers and volunteers give their time, energy and passion and attend countless emergency incidents across South Australia - putting out fires, rescuing people, conducting searches, freeing people from trapped cars, helping contain chemical spills, dealing with storm damage and much, much more.
There are over 14,000 dedicated South Australians who add fabric of our community because they are willing to protect their community in times of natural disasters and emergencies.
SAFECOM collaborates closely with the Chief Officers from the three South Australian fire and emergency service organisations to ensure that volunteers and employees across the fire and emergency services sector are provided with the resources and support they need to conduct this vital work.
- the South Australian Country Fire Service (CFS)
- the South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service (MFS)
- the South Australian State Emergency Service (SES)
SAFECOM also plays a leadership role in:
- Coordinating the implementation of recommendations from reports such as the Wangary Coronial Inquest, Review of the Fire and Emergency Services Act 2005 and the Ministerial Review of Bushfire Management in South Australia
- Developing new initiatives such as Volunteer Charters and the Volunteer and Employer Recognition and Support Program
- Emergency management planning across South Australia
How is the sector funded?
The Emergency Services Levy (ESL) on fixed and mobile property is the primary source of funding for the provision of emergency services in South Australia and is governed by the Emergency Services Funding Act 1998 (the Act).
The money collected by the ESL is placed into a dedicated fund, the Community Emergency Services Fund (CESF), exclusively for the funding of emergency services and related activities.
The money is used to fund the operations of the Metropolitan Fire Service, Country Fire Service and State Emergency Service, and includes all operational costs as well as the purchase of assets such as new buildings, fire appliances, tankers and other vehicles and equipment used to fight fires, conduct rescue operations and assist with response and recovery operations for natural disaster events like floods and storms.
SAFECOM also receives funding as it provides strategic oversight and co-ordination functions for the emergency services sector, as well as functional support including finance, human resources, asset and procurement services, volunteer support, workplace safety and information technology.
Funding is also provided towards the emergency service activities of other government agencies such as South Australia Police for items such as its response to emergency situations and rescue operations, the Department for Environment and Water for its bushfire management operations, and the South Australian Ambulance Service towards its Special Operations Team used for high-risk rescue.
The State Rescue Helicopter also receives funding towards its emergency services operations.
Non-government organisations such as Volunteer Marine Rescue and Surf Life Saving South Australia receive funding towards their emergency service operations and infrastructure needs, and the cost of the fixed and rotary wing aerial shark patrol for our metropolitan beaches during the summer months is also met from the CESF.
The Department of Treasury and Finance (through RevenueSA) and the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (through ServiceSA) have been appointed by the State Government as the respective collection agencies for the fixed property and mobile property components of the ESL payable under the Act, with collection costs being recouped from the CESF.