June 2022

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Thanks to a $70,000 grant from the State Government, our station is now fully powered by renewable energy from the sun.  This solar and battery system will power our station indefinitely when Copa loses power which will allow us to continue to service the community during any emergency or disaster.

Our brigade had a busy start to Autumn. Our members stepped up to deliver care packages and help residents with their clean up in flood-affected Spencer on the Hawkesbury River. The persistent and at times torrential rain we have experienced has created a few more problems than just potholes for us locally.  Recently we experienced a landslip on Cullens Road that blocked roadside drains and caused stormwater to inundate the road. A very dangerous situation developed quickly for drivers on this busy road and our members wasted no time jumping in (literally) to find the drain and clear the blockage.

We have had two new members complete their bushfire training in recent months and they are now attending callouts. We congratulate and welcome James and Andrea to our team.

After two years of cancelled and curtailed events, we were fortunate to hold a successful open day over the Easter long weekend. We were very proud to show off our station and equipment and excited to see and interact with so many in our community again.  Our next open day will be the same day as the 5 Lands Walk – Saturday 25th June -  and we are planning for it to be even bigger than our Easter event. Please come along and say hello.

We have gone green!

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March 2022

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Copa Brigade NEEDS YOU!

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One of the most crucial issues facing volunteer organisations such as Copacabana Rural Fire Brigade is ongoing recruitment.  While the brigade currently has a strong and stable member base, times and circumstances change and members come and go.  We need to keep finding new people with the right skills, time and availability to contribute to the brigade and the community.  You can either message us directly via our Facebook page, or call the station on 4382 2400 at any time to get involved.  The NSW Rural Fire Service offers many types of training and provides successful new recruits with personal protective equipment.

The station has recently completed a major upgrade funded by a $60,000 State Government grant.  The station has been repainted inside and out with new fencing installed.  Some of our communication radios have also been upgraded including the Government Radio Network (GRN), fireground and CB radios.  A booster aerial has been installed on top of the station which gives us much better coverage.  More effective and efficient lighting has been added.  You will notice that at night the station is not as lit up.   However, when a roller door opens, the internal lights come on automatically and at night the flood lights come on automatically too.   When the roller doors close, within ten minutes the lights will turn off automatically.   

The brigade has resumed regular training on Wednesday nights. This training ensures that members maintain their skills even through times disrupted by the pandemic and after a long wet fire season.  Training helps develop team camaraderie and cohesion.  We continue to operate under COVID safe rules when possible.

The brigade has already begun planning for more community engagement events this year if COVID allows, including an open day on a date to be advised.  Open days allow us to showcase our facilities and speak with our community directly.  This will build on our much-anticipated Santa runs held at the end of last year. These runs brought fun and joy to the streets of Copa and Kincumber after a pretty tough COVID year and we all enjoyed seeing the smiling faces.

December 2021


Copa RFS end of year update

It’s been a challenging year for Copacabana RFS with COVID health restrictions severely curtailing normal operations for many months. While the brigade continued to respond to emergency callouts, training was suspended and crew sizes were reduced in trucks.

Our involvement in vital hazard reduction work was limited by travel restrictions. Masks, hand sanitising and social distancing were essential, just as they were for everyone else in the community.

Now that public health rules have been eased, regular training has resumed although we’ve split the brigade into two groups, training on different days to reduce the possibility of a COVID outbreak completely disrupting operations.  Some new recruits have joined the team and are in the process of doing their basic bushfire fighting course.

A highlight of the year has been our success in securing  a $60,000 State Government Infrastructure Grant. The grant was presented by Adam Crouch, Member for Terrigal at the beginning of November. The funds will be used to replace fencing around the fire station; paint the building inside and out; install a roof-mounted station fire ground radio and new external lighting and other minor works. Copa RFS Captain, Shane Hughes said he was extremely grateful for the grant which will enable us to continue to maintain our station and our operations at a high standard.

Now the countdown is on to our annual Santa Runs. Santa has been booked and will be joining us on the trucks. The runs will be in Kincumber on Thursday, December 23 and Copa on Christmas Eve.

Trucks will be driving around local streets throwing out some Christmas treats for the kids (and their parents and carers).  It’s an RFS tradition dating back at least to the 1960s which brings joy not just to the kids but to our members.  After missing out last year when Santa Runs were called off due to restrictions, we are all looking forward to this year!

Stay Safe and have a wonderful Christmas break

Cathy Stubbs, RFS Secretary

September 2021

Beach fires in Copa creating risk to public safety

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Information about active fires or hazard
reduction operations can be found via
the “Fires Near Me” app which will alert
you to any local fires. Alternatively, you
can contact the Bushfire Information
Line on 1800 679 737.

The brigade has had a busy period responding to a concerning spate of beach fires.  All beach fires are illegal, and they present serious public safety risks. Beach fires can retain heat in the sand for days - long after the flames have died down and the fire appears to be out. It is disappointing that beach fires often occur with a whole lot of littering with bottles and other rubbish left for others to clean up. Beach gatherings - with or without fires - are also contrary to the COVID public health orders. Please respect our environment and the community and don’t engage in illegal and irresponsible behaviour on the beach.

COVID is impacting brigade activities in a variety of ways. Members were particularly disappointed that we had to cancel our Open Day that had been planned for September this year. While COVID restrictions have limited our training opportunities, the brigade remains ready to respond to all incidents.

The annual bushfire season starts on October 1, and now is the time to prepare your home and make a bushfire plan.

We remind everyone to contact 000 to report a fire or incident without delay. This ensures firefighters are despatched quickly and efficiently if they are required.

While we make every effort to answer the station number. 4382 2400 - it should only be used for general enquiries as we cannot mobilise our crews without a call going through 000.

June 2021


A Brief History of the Copa Rural Fire Brigade by Matt Francis

When the brigade began in 1962, getting any worthwhile equipment at all was an ongoing challenge.  Members regularly used their own vehicles to tow a pump trailer to fires! Supplied equipment in the first couple of years consisted of a metal water knapsack (carried on the back to the fire) beaters (to beat out the fire) some fire extinguishers, and a first aid kit.

Members lobbied furiously for a proper truck for years - but were told that they couldn’t have one until they built (at their own cost) a station to house it. They built the station in 1974 (it cost $1,166.38) and were given their truck (then referred to as a ‘tender”) by Gosford Council shortly after - an International fire tanker. This remained in service for the next decade until replaced in 1982 with a Bedford fire tanker. A second vehicle - a long wheel-base Toyota utility arrived the next year - bought with money raised by the brigade!

The images show some of our older vehicles. The pics have been saved as part of our efforts to digitise old photos found at
the station.

If you know more about these vehicles, please share your memories with us. Today we have an urban pumper, a Category 1 bushfire tanker and a Category 9 Landcruiser fast response vehicle.

On Sunday June 26 we’ll be holding an open day to coincide with the 5 Lands Walk. Stop by for a chat and learn more about how to protect your home, bushfire plans, how we work, maybe even join! It will be lots of hands-on fun for kids too.

Download your Winter checklist

The cold weather is a timely reminder that we are moving from bush fire season to what is effectively house fire season, as all the heaters come out and we all try to stay warm in our homes. You can download a checklist for winter here:

March 2021


We’ve had a very quiet summer locally, with no big fire or flood events in the area. Great for members to have a sensible season resting, training and catching up on the missed opportunities from last summer’s horrendous fire season, using Covid safe protocols of course.

Members who assisted last summer received their well-deserved Premier’s Citations in November, presented by Life Member and all round top bloke Bob Clancy. Congratulations go to all our members for their ongoing commitment to our community.

The Brigade is still conducting online meetings due to Covid and all are keen to see things get back to normal, but until then we are following all the community protocols plus enhanced efforts to ensure we can function in the case of a brigade member becoming infected.

Many of the new members who joined over winter are now finalising their Village Firefighter training, ensuring they have the skills to respond to a wider range of fire incidents with confidence. We are also back to general training, keeping all our core skills fresh and skilling up new members on all the different tools, equipment, and operations protocols they will encounter along their RFS journey.

Stay safe and check that your fire
alarms are working!

Matt Francis

A better summer for Copa RFS


December 2020

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After the catastrophic fires of last year, it is somewhat of a relief that A La Niña has been declared, meaning a wetter summer (and the possibility of flooding). Since July 1, the state has recorded 702 bush, grass and scrub fires, with about 10 burning in the first week of August.  By contrast at this time last year NSW had recorded triple that number or 2,224 blazes.

Not all areas will be affected equally and the fire threat, while subdued, remains. We should have a respite from the dry and hot weather from last year but there is a lot of fuel about, especially grasses out in the highlands and on the plains, which can cause devastating fires. Whilst it was a quiet winter comparatively speaking, we assisted with a house fire in Hardy’s Bay and a large rubbish fire on the beach, as well as several hazard reductions around the coast. 

Over the colder months we had time to re-skill in some areas, upgrade skill levels in others including undertaking some fire investigation training and get some training on our hydrant booster simulator. The Brigade is also equipped and trained to deal with non fire emergencies to support our local community, and we are regularly called on for flood and other weather-related responses, so it may be a busy season for us despite the predicted wetter weather.

Get ready weekend was held virtually this year due to CoViD restrictions, you can check out some fire myths and facts here: and other get ready resources here: The brigade delivered get ready packs to many locals including a few activity packs for the kids. Keep up with our activities on facebook here:

October 1st marked the beginning of the bushfire season for the Central Coast and Greater Sydney region and the fire danger rating sign at Kincumber on Avoca Drive will now be updated every day until the end of March 2021. You can also view the fire danger ratings for all areas at:

On 11th October the annual Emergency Services Volunteer Memorial Service was held.  Eight names, all NSW RFS volunteers, have been added to the Memorial in Sydney. We will never forget the service of Michael Maria, Phillip Bell, Ian Long, Robert Panitz, Geoffrey Keaton, Andrew O’Dwyer, Samuel McPaul and Colin Burns. 

102 names now appear on the memorial, recognising volunteers from the NSW Rural Fire Service, NSW State Emergency Service, Marine Rescue NSW and the NSW Volunteer Rescue Association who have paid the ultimate sacrifice protecting communities.

On a much happier note, Santa will again be visiting Copacabana and Kincumber this year in the much loved fire truck convoy. We can’t thank the elves enough for their support in getting Santa here in a CoViD safe way!

Listen out for the sirens after three o’clock in Kincumber on the 23rd of December and Copa on the 24th. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for all the latest info. 

September 2020

A welcome breather allows us time to prepare.

The off season has stayed pleasingly quiet, with only 25 fire calls since 1 April, and no need to assist with Covid-19 issues which is great and a credit to all who are taking the distancing and hygiene seriously.

It has given us time to re-skill in some areas, upgrade skill levels in others, and just generally re-set and get ready for the next season. It appears at this stage we will have a respite from the dry and hot weather from last year, but there is a lot of fuel about, especially grasses out in the highlands and on the plains, which can cause devastating fires.


Six Local Government Areas have begun an early ‘Bushfire Danger Period’ (BFDP) from 1 August with residents in Armidale, Walcha, Uralla, Glen Innes, Severn, Inverell and Tenterfield being urged to come up with an emergency fire plan and clear their yards and gutters.


We have also had the first response involving water-bombers for a large fire along with six trucks and crew fighting to keep the flames away from nearby properties in Duranbah, where the fire has burned through about 180 hectares of swamp and grassland.


Since July 1, the state has recorded 702 bush, grass and scrub fires, with about 10 burning on in the first week of August. By contrast, at this time last year NSW had recorded triple that number or 2,224 blazes.

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Congratulations to our newest firefighter, Shane, who passed his basic firefighter assessment on 8th August.

Get ready weekend is coming: Keep an eye on our Facebook page to find out what activities are planned (depending on Covid restrictions) to help us help you get ready for the fire season. As a start, you can check out some fire myths and facts here:


We also share helpful updates on emergencies and local weather! There is a 70% chance of a La Nina forming over the coming months for Australia, which may mean the end of the El Nino phase (dryer, hotter weather), but also the risk of increased rainfall and possible flooding and increased chances of tropical cyclones in the North of the country. Other systems (such as the Indian Ocean Dipole or IOD) are also in play, so nothing is certain about this summer as yet. 


Stay safe out there. Matt Francis

June 2020

Most Devastating Bush Fire Season
in NSW History


Firefighters responded to more than 11,400 bush and grass fires that burnt more than 5.5 million hectares, the equivalent of 6.2% of the state. 2,448 homes were destroyed - however more than 14,400 were saved. Tragically, 25 lives were lost including those of 3 NSW RFS firefighters and 3 US aerial firefighters.

The support that was shown to our brigade from the community was like nothing we had seen before and will never be forgotten by our firefighters. We have also had the continuing support of generous local businesses, which is always appreciated but especially in times like those we faced this summer.

On April 17, after 224 days, Copacabana 1 (our main bush fire tanker) returned home after being deployed to the unfolding bushfire emergency in Northern NSW on the 7th September, 2019. Since leaving for NSW she travelled over 8,000kms - crewed by our firefighters, fellow firefighters from the NSW RFS and from interstate. Our crew spent a weekend giving the truck a much-needed clean inside and out.  Importantly, it is now back online and ready to attend local incidents. We want to thank NSW Rural Fire Service - Central Coast District for giving our brigade a spare cat 1 tanker for the best part of 8 months. It was certainly put to good use by our crews.

Local incidents

Recently, Copacabana and Avoca Beach RFB attended several illegal green waste or yard fires in Avoca Beach and Copacabana including a cooking fire involving green waste which caused a lot of smoke. Green waste fires and fires involving any types of rubbish are illegal, including garden waste. If you are planning on having a cooking fire, ensure that you only use dry seasoned wood to reduce smoke, have a safe open area and have a hose close by.


Here is a summary of what you are allowed & not allowed to burn:

  • No beach fires allowed

  • No 44-gallon drums 

  • Camping and Cooking fires are permitted year-round except when there is a Total Fire Ban. The fires must:

    • Be no larger than 1m x 1m 

    • Be surrounded by rocks with a 2m clearing

    • Use only dry seasoned wood, 

    • Have a nearby water source

    • must be attended at all times

  • Pile burns are currently permitted, with conditions:

    • All Year Round - 24 Hours Notice (unless specified otherwise on a Fire Permit) to adjoining neighbours and NSW RFS on 1300 661 401 

    • Land must be Greater than 4,000m2 (1 acre) in area and zoned, E3, E4, RE2, R5, RU1, RU2, RU5 or RU6

    • No Building Materials

    • Burn only dry branches, leaves, sticks and twigs on a rural or semi-rural property. 

    • Only one pile may be burnt at a time no bigger than 2m wide and 1.5m high

    • 20m from any structure or unmanaged vegetation.

More information can be found here:


On Saturday May 3rd, a windy morning, firefighters from Copacabana RFB responded to reports of a structure fire in Copacabana. Fortunately, due to  quick action by neighbours the fire on the side of the house was all but extinguished when firefighters arrived on scene. Copacabana pumper was the first unit to arrive on scene and firefighters deployed a hose line and used a thermal imaging camera to detect and extinguish remaining hot spots. The cause of fire appears to have been an electrical fault and a neighbouring house suffered minor heat damage. Copa had three trucks and 11 firefighters on the scene in under 10 minutes, a great effort by your local volunteers, with FRNSW Pumper 353, Avoca Beach Tanker and NSW Police and Ausgrid also attending to assist. The brigade was also called to a small fire in solar panels in Avoca Beach recently, which was also quickly extinguished.

Safety tips for the winter months

We want to advise all Copa residents to ensure that any electrical installations are undertaken by a qualified person; not to overload electrical outlets or boards and not to use indoor items outdoors. We are also coming into the winter season when all the dusty heaters come out and we use our dryers more. Here are a few safety tips:

  • Keep curtains, tablecloths and bedding away from portable heaters.

  • Keep wet clothes at least 1m from heaters or fireplaces, and never place clothes or towels on your heater.

  • Clean the lint filter every time you use a clothes dryer since lint that has built up can catch fire.

  • Never use your gas oven or stove as a room heater.

  • Use just 1 appliance per power point and switch them off when you’re not using them. Heaters consume a lot of power and may overload the supply which can cause a fire.

  • Never leave burning candles or any open flame unattended.

Read more at:

Coronavirus and the RFS

The RFS and our local brigade have been proactive in ensuring we limit the spread as part of our efforts to protect our community. We have cancelled all non-essential activities, installed hand sanitising stations and instituted robust procedures to ensure all of our crews are protected and to protect others. Protocols include hand hygiene and regular use of sanitiser, sanitising all trucks and equipment after use, and the use of masks and gloves as required when interacting with the public, especially the sick or infirm. This means we have been able to undertake our regular role helping our local people without putting them or ourselves in any danger. 

Stay safe. Matt Francis

March 2020


all in a day's work for Copa RFS


This summer, coming on top of prolonged periods of drought, produced an unprecedented, challenging season for firefighters and emergency workers around the country, and the NSW fires were amongst the worst and most dangerous. 

Our Copa RFS was up to the task as usual and were deployed to many fire grounds locally and across the state over months, putting in countless hours and unstinting effort to help save lives and properties.

It was an extraordinary effort by an extraordinary team and there has been an outpouring of gratitude and support from the community. We know how very fortunate we are to have such a committed and hard-working brigade here in Copa and we thank them for their incredible service.

Matt Francis, Copa RFS Secretary, has provided the following report.

This fire season has been called many things – let’s just say it was a big one - and we threw everything we had at it. The RFS reports that over the season thus far fires have destroyed almost 2500 homes across the state and damaged more than 1000, with more than 5.4 million hectares burnt. We had crews sent to almost every corner of the state, and our truck stayed up at Dorrigo, and had some great adventures first with our own crew rotating in, then with many others. She is now being repaired and we have a spare truck so we still have full capabilities.

And then there were the storms and flooding

To everyone’s great relief, the wettest days since the 1990s arrived in late January and all fires are now contained, though some are still burning. This didn’t mean a rest for our brigade right away. We responded to over 35 different jobs in the local area for storm damage in the first 48 hours and had crews put their hands up for strike teams in the days following, though we weren’t tasked.


I think I can safely say this Brigade is one of the hardest working in the service - its members are indefatigable and their commitment over and above the norm. We made areas safe where power lines were down, cleared trees using chainsaws so roads could re-open, provided traffic control to allow single lane traffic and ensure residents were able to access and leave Copa and Avoca.

Overall the Brigade has put in a huge effort, with well over 60 shifts and 2000 hours (that’s a full-time job for a year!) just in relation to out of area deployments. The stats here don’t include the number of times we have been on call, where we’ve had crew ensuring they aren’t more than 15 minutes from the station, stood up, where we have had crews stay in station at the ready, or on standby strike teams, where crews were staged in a team at strategic locations across the coast. I am humbled by the efforts of these folk who have welcomed me as one of their own.

And we continue to work to strengthen our brigade. Along with all that the season brought, the brigade has been working hard to train our new recruits (a good mix of ages and genders - four of whom have already qualified as Bush Fire Fighters); keep training going for members, and ensure members skills are up to date with district run courses. These activities continue to strengthen the Copa brigade and our response capabilities overall.

Now is not the time to be complacent

Whilst we are stoked to see the rain, we must remind ourselves the season is not over yet, and there is still a lot of green space across the state, especially here on the coast. It may only take a week or two of dry weather, and a decent hot day, to start some new threat here, so we must all be vigilant. Be careful around the house too, make sure you have smoke alarms working, ensure everyone in the house knows how they’ll get out and where they should head. A recent local tragedy has highlighted how quickly houses can become very dangerous. If you want any advice on preparedness, reach out to the brigade and we’ll provide advice and support.

Thank you Copa for all the support

Finally, we couldn’t do what we do without community support, and this season that support has floored us all, from direct donations to the brigade to help us out with new or upgraded gear, to food flowing in for our members, constant offers of support and questions about what we needed and generous donations of clothing and non-perishable food items which the brigade organised to be sent on to those affected by the disastrous season. Thank you Copa and the wider community for your generous support and wonderful, encouraging responses on Social Media.

Stay safe. Matt Francis





Many households find that having a discussion over dinner works best as everybody is together and focussed.



There are simple things you can do around your home to prepare it for a bush fire, like keeping the grass low and having a cleared area around your home.



If there is a fire in your area you will find its alert level on the NSW RFS website and in the ‘Fires Near Me’ app. You need to keep track of the alert level so you know what you should do.



In a bush fire, it’s important that you stay up to date on conditions in your area.
For more information go to

December 2019

Most recently the Brigade was busy crewing our Cat 9 striker at the fires near Taree and due to catastrophic conditions on Tuesday 12 November we had a borrowed tanker with 6 crew at Kariong for any flare-ups on the coast.  We opened the station all day with 8 crew ready to go in the pumper and Cat 9 ready to respond to local incidents or other areas as required. Thanks to all our hard working volunteers for this great effort. 

On Watch (Matt McLeod) >


Local Brigade Activity:


On 26 October District responded to 24 incidents within 5 hours to storm damage incidents and the Martinsville fire. Two pre-emptive strike teams were deployed to the Martinsville fire to assist a number of local crews with property protection initially, and then implementing containment strategies as conditions allowed. Crews continued to implement containment strategies over the next couple of days and the fire was declared out having burnt 217 Ha, with numerous residents protected from the fire and no property loss. In the midst of the Martinsville fire, the District also sent a 12 hour strike team to Mid Coast to assist with fires threatening residents in the Forster / Tuncurry area.


The District has also continued to supply firefighters, to the Northern NSW fires along with incident management personnel, aviation specialists, catering & communications members. Locally, the District has responded to 76 incidents in a 7 day period from 0900 on 26 October, including a significant incident on the M1 at Warnervale in the early hours of Wednesday morning where 4 trucks were on fire. Another great effort by members with 11 Brigades involved working with other emergency services to combat this challenging incident. Since the commencement of the 19/20 fire season, the District has deployed 375 firefighting personnel and 39 incident management personnel out of area.

Brigade News:


The area has again been very quiet, and we congratulate drivers for the lack of call outs on Cullen’s Road, preventable incidents we never like to see. We recently attended a fire that had started from a solar set up, which could have jumped directly into bushland at McMasters Beach if not swiftly attended to. It looks to be another very dry season, and though we are hoping for a quiet summer, we are preparing for a busy season. The local area has undergone some changes to the agreement between the RFS and Fire and Rescue NSW (FR) regarding response areas and protocols. The Copa Brigade will continue to work with FR, and specifically Kincumber Station, to ensure the safety of local residents.


We have been working hard at training as always, but have also sent members up north to help with the fires impacting the north east of the state. Several members were able to give their time at the Bees Nest fire, heading up on the first deployment with our Cat1 and on subsequent deployments. Sadly, due to the size of the fires and length of the intended campaign, our Cat 1 has been retained on the fire ground for the duration, and may not be back for some time yet. 

We have also had members deployed on five day assignment and 12 hour strike teams to our north, helping with the devastating fires they are facing. We are always looking for new members, it’s a great way to meet new people, learn new skills and serve not only your local, but the wider community. Email to find out more


Central Coast Bush Fire Risk Management Plan:


A Bush Fire Risk Management Plan (BFRMP) is a strategic document that identifies community assets at risk across a fire district and sets out a five-year program of coordinated multi-agency treatments to reduce the risk of bush fire to the assets. Treatments may include activities such as hazard reduction burning, community education, fire trail maintenance, establishing community fire-units and even grazing. Annual mitigation works programs will be prepared to implement the treatments identified in this plan and these will be undertaken by the relevant land managers and firefighting authorities.


There is no ‘Neighbourhood Safer Place’ identified for Copacabana, however the Brigade recommend locals head to the beach or ‘village green’ beside the surf club as areas least likely to be impacted if egress from the area is cut off. See more at

June 2019

Local Brigade Activity

Our members have been busy with 33 call outs in the last
3 months, with 8 of the calls being in a two-week period.
We’d like to remind everyone that it is illegal to have a fire
unless it meets strict requirements. For this area, basically
only small cooking fires are allowed, which can also be
restricted at certain times. 

Training & Equipment Upgrades

In addition to call outs and our usual training and
maintenance schedule, we had two members qualify as
Advanced Structural Firefighters and able to use Breathing
Apparatus (BA) at incidents.  Congratulations to Christian
and Matt. We also have four new recruits in training
(pictured here) who will become qualified Bush Fire Fighters
in coming months. 


We recently held a joint training session on structure fires with Avoca and Brisbane Waters Brigades. Using a smoke machine to simulate a fire in the station, we had crash test dummies to simulate unconscious people to be found and removed and had actors playing distressed people, making it very realistic for the teams that had to enter and perform search and rescue and ‘firefighting’ activities (there was no live fire).


It was great to receive our ‘new’ pumper in April from the Killingworth Brigade, who were also generous enough to send a team to Copa for the day to help us train our members. It is a cat 10 pumper and replaced our older cat 7 vehicle which was designed for bush fire fighting. This vehicle will enable our firefighters to provide a specialist service to Copacabana and neighbouring communities and will expand and enhance our response capabilities.


Community Update, Hazard Reductions and Heating

It is now Hazard Reduction burn (HR) season, and we see a lot of people (including the media) get the meaning of Hazard Reduction and Backburning confused. Hazard Reductions are conducted before a bushfire starts as a preventative measure, in order to protect people and assets.  Backburning is used during a bushfire emergency, to help control the fire and protect people and assets.

Often called controlled or prescribed burning, Hazard Reductions are carried out during favourable weather conditions to reduce fuel loads. If a bushfire were to start in an area that had recently had a Hazard Reduction activity there would be less fuel for it to burn, reducing the intensity of the fire and the risk of impact on assets & properties from an out of control fire.

Backburning occurs during a fire emergency when firefighting personnel determine that the best way to inhibit the progression of a bushfire is by burning back towards the oncoming fire. This removes fuel from the path of the fire, which can be an effective method of stopping its spread or reducing its impact on structures.


We’d like to remind everyone to take care with home heating during the colder months. 

We have had one call out to a possible fire that turned out to be the smell of dust built up in a heater being used for the first time. Please remember to clean and check all your equipment before using it. Remember also to take care when using these appliances, as things like towels draped over heaters are common causes of fire. 

If you’d like any more information on any of these issues please contact us and we’ll provide all the help we can.

Interact with us: We have a new website, thanks to our Senior Deputy Captain and Tech Whiz, Shane Hughes, at which will give updates on brigade activity and seasonal advice, along with our own brand of fiery humour! You can also follow us on Facebook or Instagram.


Copa RFS new recruits pictured left to right: 

Lachlan Hale, Greg Trusler, Zac Hale and Dylan Robinson


Ever wanted to be a Fire Fighter? We are looking for new members!!

Volunteering offers the opportunity to learn new and valuable skills that will not only assist you in your RFS role but in day to day life and even in your workplace. It’s also an opportunity to meet local people you wouldn’t normally meet. If you are interested in a rewarding volunteer role with the NSW RFS call 4382 2400 or visit us at the station any Wednesday from 7pm.

March 2019

Things have been fairly quiet from a response perspective, but we’ve been busy training our newer members and refreshing the veterans’ skills while maintaining our appliances and equipment. One training session the team used a buoywall, which is a portable swimming pool-like bladder that is used to store water for pumping. We also have a full schedule of training planned to advance our members’ skills, with first aid, chainsaw operation and Village & Advanced fire fighting courses among others.

A season highlight was Santa again being able to fit us into his busy schedule, a real coup. The brigade turned out a convoy of appliances to escort Santa around all of Copacabana and this year Kincumber too! The kids really enjoyed the spectacle of the convoy, but all eyes were on the guest of honour of course (and all tummies driving the diving for lollies). A great chance for the Brigade to thank the community for all their support.

We have also been actively fundraising over the Christmas season with two bucket shakes at Erina, along with some generous donations from local individuals and businesses. The Brigade is most grateful for this assistance as it will all go toward better enabling us to help in any emergency. 

As a direct result of donations and a government grant, new lockers will be installed to replace a wall of coat hooks, making storing gear and responding quickly much easier for members. 

The season is still very much an active one, with fires in many areas across Australia. Don’t forget to make sure you have a plan, we are in a very bushy area and could easily face a substantial fire at any time.

Follow the Brigade on Facebook and Instagram to keep up to date on local conditions for fire risk, and information on other local emergencies and warnings, as well as reports about incidents we’ve attended.  Stay safe and be fire aware over the Autumn months.

November 2018

We are very grateful that the start of the fire season has been wetter than predicted, with above average rainfall also predicted for December and January. However,  residents are reminded to be vigilant, as it can only take a few warm days to dry things out and the landscape to become more prone to fires.

We have been active in community engagement, holding a successful ‘Get Ready’ day in September, the graduation of a group of young cadets from Kincumber High School and attending the Kincumber Public School Fête. As always, the smoke house was a big hit with the kids, showing them what it’s like to move through a smoky room, which also gave us time to engage with parents about having a plan and ensuring they are ready if an incident occurs.

The Brigade will be turning out to support Copacabana Community Carols, with our trucks being used as an extra barrier between the open road and the audience. We also have fundraising organised at Erina Fair on 14th and 21st December. As an addition to our normal fundraising we have also secured a ‘donation tap point’ so you can use tap and go to make a $2 donation which will be useful, as fewer purchases are made with cash nowadays.


The Brigade has a rigorous training schedule to ensure we keep our skills up to date, and we have been up-skilling new members with formal RFS qualifications, with two members recently being awarded the level of Village Firefighter. These members will now move on to train as Breathing Apparatus Operators to enable them to respond to structure fires.

From August through October we have been fairly quiet, with only 29 call outs. We have had excellent member attendance and very quick response times, a solid effort by the brigade.


The Brigade has a rigorous training schedule to ensure we keep our skills up to date, and we have been up-skilling new members with formal RFS qualifications, with two members recently being awarded the level of Village Firefighter. These members will now move on to train as Breathing Apparatus Operators to enable them to respond to structure fires.

From August through October we have been fairly quiet, with only 29 call outs. We have had excellent member attendance and very quick response times, a solid effort by the brigade.

CALLOUTS August to Oct







The start of the bushfire season has been brought forward a month and will begin on 1 Sept 2018.

Our annual ‘Get Ready Weekend’ is being held September 23 at the Copacabana Station to assist the community with important information. Brigade members will be on hand to provide advice on how best to prepare your property and there will be some interactive displays such as a smoke house and virtual fire extinguishers.

Residents are reminded that as a rule, burning off is illegal and must not be used for clearing, including building materials. Cooking fires are legal where only dry seasoned wood is burnt and the fire must be no bigger than 1 metre by 1 metre. The Brigade has attended several illegal pile burns recently,  with one resulting in severe burns to a resident as they tried to put out the fire. 

If you are unsure about the rules or need some advice, contact the brigade via email: or call us on 4382 2400.

The Copacabana Brigade continues to be active in the community, participating in the recent Five Lands Walk and attending various local events including the ANZAC Dawn Service.  The Brigade continues to enjoy significant support from the local community for which we are most grateful.

The RFS also has two useful publications: Before you light that fire and Can I or Can’t I pictured to the right and downloadable.


September 2018

With the driest start to the season since 1965 and no real rains forecast, the season looks to be a busy one for the Brigade and we encourage all residents to be prepared. 


Callout locations can include Copacabana, Avoca Beach, Macmasters Beach, Kincumber, Terrigal and Killcare.







June 2018

After extended hot weather the bushfire season has come to an end. Copacabana Rural Fire Brigade was kept busy over the fire season being part of several strike teams that attended multiple bushfires including the more recent Meni/Holsworthy bushfire in Sydney. In the colder months there tends to be more house fires. These are normally caused by space heaters and clothes dryers.


Do not use an extension cord or power strip, which could overheat and result in a fire.

  • Do not plug any other electrical devices into the same outlet as the heater.

  • Place space heaters on level, flat surfaces.

  • Never place heaters on cabinets, tables,

  • furniture, or carpet, which can overheat and start a fire.

  • Clean your tumble dryer lint filter every time you use it.


Do not use an extension cord or power strip, which could overheat and result in a fire.

  • Do not plug any other electrical devices into the same outlet as the heater.

  • Place space heaters on level, flat surfaces.

  • Never place heaters on cabinets, tables,

  • furniture, or carpet, which can overheat and start a fire.

  • Clean your tumble dryer lint filter every time you use it.


Callout locations can include Copacabana, Avoca Beach, Macmasters Beach, Kincumber, Terrigal and Killcare.






Would you like to get involved?


Are you a shift worker, retired, high school / uni student? Then we want you!
We are looking for males and females 16 years and over who live in Kincumber and Copacabana.


Copacabana Rural Fire Brigade responds to incidents 24/7. Volunteering offers the opportunity to learn new and valuable skills that will not only assist you in your voluntary role but in day to day life and even your workplace. It is also an opportunity to meet people you wouldn't normally meet.

If you are interested in a rewarding volunteer career with the NSW RFS call 02 4382 2400 or visit us at the station every Wednesday from 7pm or message our Facebook page to find out where you can make a difference.