Annual Report 2016-2017

Section A: Reporting required under the Public Sector Act 2009, the Public Sector Regulations 2010 and the Public Finance and Audit Act 1987

Agency purpose or role

The South Australian Emergency Services Sector (ESS), comprising the South Australian Fire and Emergency Services Commission (SAFECOM), Country Fire Service (CFS), Metropolitan Fire Service (MFS) and State Emergency Service (SES), protects South Australian lives, property and environment.

The ESS plays an essential role in the safety of all South Australians.  Funded wholly by the people of South Australia, the ESS has a responsibility to deliver benefits and cost efficiency to those it serves and returns an increasing value on their trusted investment.

The primary role of the ESS is to prevent the loss of life, property, environment and infrastructure through reducing the impact of fires and other emergencies on our community.  Not only is this achieved through an ongoing investment in emergency response equipment and trained personnel, but as importantly the ESS is committed to providing emergency warning systems and awareness materials that enable all South Australians to be as prepared and resilient to the dangers of fire and other emergencies as possible.

SAFECOM provides ‘corporate’ support services that are integral in allowing the ESOs – CFS, MFS and SES – to provide the frontline services that directly support and protect the community of South Australia.

SAFECOM is governed by the SAFECOM Board which comprises the SAFECOM Chief Executive (Presiding Member), the Chief Officers of the three emergency service agencies, a representative of the United Firefighters Union, representatives from the SES Volunteer Association and CFS Volunteer Association and two independent members  appointment by the Minister for Emergency Services.


SAFECOM was established in 2005 to:

  • Develop and maintain a strategic and policy framework across the ESS
  • Develop and implement a framework of sound corporate governance across the ESS;
  • Ensure that appropriate strategic, administrative and other support services are provided to the three emergency services organisations (CFS, MFS and SES);
  • Ensure that appropriate strategic and business plans are developed, maintained and implemented across the ESS;
  • Provide for the effective allocation of resources within the ESS; and
  • Support the emergency services agencies.

SAFECOM works with the agencies to:

  • Ensure governance and accountability for the sector through common, strategically aligned goals;
  • Provide consolidated and integrated support services;
  • Maintain a balanced focus on prevention, preparedness, response and recovery services;
  • Pursue opportunities for efficiencies and reforms and reinvest savings from within the sector; and
  • Enhance participation and support of volunteers within local communities.

SAFECOM is responsible for:

  • Providing key emergency management leadership, particularly in the area of mitigation;
  • Representing the State Government at national emergency management forums;
  • Managing the expenditure of the Community Emergency Services Fund; and
  • Key capabilities such as Public Information and Warnings, and the State Emergency Information Call Centre Capability.