The State Government is assuring emergency volunteers the TFS and the SES will still retain their distinct identities despite being merged.
Tuesday’s announcement of the new Tasmanian Fire and Emergency Service comes after a five-year review which found inadequate governance was unacceptable as natural disasters increase.
Premier Jeremy Rockliff said this was a key motivator for change.
“With the increasing frequency and severity of natural disasters, it is important we take action today to empower our emergency leaders for tomorrow,” he said.
“Merging these two key services recognises the support the more than 5,400 volunteers provide in times of crisis and recognises the strength in their existing cohesive and collaborative relationship.
“We saw this collaboration most recently with the flood emergency in the North and North-West.
“However, both the TFS and SES will keep their individual identities. We know how important this is to staff and volunteers of these organisations.”
Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management, Felix Ellis, said to establish a new, strong chain of command, the Chief Officer of TFS will be elevated to the role of Commissioner of Fire and Emergency Services.
“The Commissioner will report directly to the Minister of the day and will oversee the new Tasmania Fire and Emergency Service. The Director SES will remain in the TFES’ key leadership group,” he said.