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Support for emergency services workers

This page contains information on support for emergency services workers (paid and volunteer) and their families.

For mental health support, visit our mental health support page.

You can also call Lifeline’s dedicated bushfire recovery line on 13 HELP (13 43 57) for immediate help. 

I need financial support
Type of support How to access

Support from telecommunications providers

Telecommunications providers including Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone may offer specific relief for volunteer firefighter customers. 

This includes free mobile phone bills during certain times.

Talk to your service provider.

Access to paid leave

Commonwealth public servants who volunteer with state rural fire services can access at least four weeks (20 days) of paid emergency services leave.

This leave is so that they can work on the front lines and is separate to their regular annual and sick leave.

Talk to your employer to discuss your access to these, or similar, arrangements. 

Volunteer firefighter payments 

Applications for the volunteer firefighter payments have closed.

This funding has supported volunteer firefighters who lost income while being called out for long periods of volunteer service.

Support has been provided to more than 3,200 volunteers. 

Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Tasmania, South Australia and Queensland took part in this program.

To ask about an existing application: 


I am experiencing financial hardship
Type of support How to access 

Free financial counselling

If you are experiencing financial hardship, free financial counselling support is available.

  • The Rural Financial Counselling Service (RFCS) helps people to improve their financial situation in response to national disasters and drought. Check your nearest RFSC office by calling 1800 686 175.
  • The Small Business Financial Support Line 1800 413 828 is staffed by specialist financial counsellors. They can provide advice on the assistance available in bushfire affected areas.
  • Call the free National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007 (Monday to Friday 9:30am-4:30pm). 
  • Visit Money Smart for other financial help available to support you after a bushfire.
Other types of bushfire recovery support
Type of support How to access

Australian Government funded support is available for families and individuals recovering from the bushfires.

This includes emergency services workers (both paid and volunteer).

Visit our Support for families and individuals page.