Firefighting Equipment Innovation

Fire-Ed Up Scenario 8:

Welcome to the Firefighting Equipment Innovation supplementary page for the stage 5 iSTEM, Fire-Ed Up Unit of Work. This is a resource site setup to support teachers to implement the Fire-Ed Up Program.

Fire-Ed Up is funded by the NSW Office of the Chief Scientist and Engineer, developed from Central Coast Council’s Award Winning program and produced by the Hunter Innovation and Science Hub.

Unit Background –
Australian Fire Danger Rating System

In 2022 Australia introduced a new fire danger rating system providing clearer and more accurate information to communities at risk of bush fire. The Australian Fire Danger Rating System brings together the latest science and knowledge of fire behaviour, is supported by extensive community research, and is the most significant change to the fire danger rating system in more than 50 years.

The previous fire danger rating system was found to be approximately 40% accurate whilst the new reporting system is now more than 60%, but there is room for improvement.

Scenario 8

Firefighting Equipment Innovation: Devise innovations or improvements to existing firefighting equipment, which might include development of new fire suppression substances, efficiency enhancement of water-dropping aircraft, or design of portable firefighting devices for residents.

Design effective bushfire fighting equipment

Improving firefighting equipment is a crucial aspect of enhancing our ability to combat and control fires more effectively. This can range from developing new fire suppression substances to optimizing water-dropping aircraft and creating portable firefighting devices for residents. Each of these areas holds the potential for significant advancements that could greatly increase firefighting efficiency and safety.

Your Mission

Propose a STEM-based design solution to enhance existing firefighting equipment or adapt new technologies to suit this purpose.


  • Fire suppression
    What new technologies are available to suppress fires?
  • Precision in water-dropping aircraft
    How can technology be better applied to improve the use of aircraft in fighting fires?
  • Fire truck protection
    What technologies are available to better protect firefighters in their vehicles during a bushfire?
  • Home automation
    What technology can be deployed in people’s homes to protect them from bushfires?

What can you do in your class to find better solutions?

Downloadable Resources

Technology Mandatory – Student Resource Folio

Download the Fire-Ed Up Technology Mandatory student resource folio.

Download Brief Document >>>

NSW RFS Firefighters Pocket Book

The NSW Rural Fire Service Firefighters Pocket Book Dec 2010 edition.

Download PDF >>>

Australian Fire Danger Rating System

Australian fire danger rating system – Fire Behaviour Index Technical Guide V2.1 Oct 2023.

Download PDF >>>

National Aerial Firefighting Strategy 2021 – 26

Australia has a well-developed aerial firefighting fleet which has evolved on a nationally coordinated basis over nearly two decades. This document looks at the strategies for deployment between 2021 & 2026

Download PDF >>>

Video Based Resources

The following are a mixture of Fire-ED Up original video resources and others that you might find useful.

Looking at the technology supporting firefighters in the Australian bush (2:03 minutes).

Fire and Rescue New South Wales crews are being trained to use state-of-the-art drone technology (2:11 minutes)

This covers the history and the development of firefighting crew protection systems to be used during a burnover event (13:54 Minutes)

A device that uses artificial intelligence to predict a bushfire’s movement is now under development in Brisbane (1:32 Minutes)

Other Resources


Equipment used for bushfires – WA

Australia’s National Large Air Tanker ready for bushfire season

Drones being developed to track bushfires

Drones are helping firefighters and other emergency services respond quickly and safely.

Fire-tested systems help crews survive truck burnovers

iTEachSTEM Resources


iTEachSTEM – Orthogonal Sketching 

iTEachSTEM Pictorial Sketching

iTEachSTEM Annotated rendered sketches

iTEachSTEM – Making a Prototype

iTEachSTEM – Iterate and Test

iTEachSTEM – Communicating Design Solutions

Other Resources

Bushfire Survival

Online RFS Bushfire Survival plan

Bushfire Survival Plan PDF version


NSW RFS Firefighter Pocketbook – Android

NSW RFS Firefighter Pocketbook – IOS

Hazards Near Me – Android

Hazards Near Me – IOS


Spatial Information eXchange

NSW Department of Education – Digital Learning Selector



Splat3D – Drawing the core 3D Shapes Playlist

Other Videos

AVA Define and Identify – Dr Nick De Leon from the Royal College of Art