Bushfire Emergency Communication

Fire-Ed Up Scenario 9:

Welcome to the Bushfire Emergency Communication 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 9

Bushfire Emergency Communication: Design a reliable, accessible communication system for use during bushfires, including alert systems, communication channels with emergency services, or real-time public information dissemination methods.

Improve communication for bushfire emergencies

From satellite communications to dedicated channels, clear communication is critical for ensuring public safety and efficient coordination of emergency response efforts.

Alert systems must be robust and wide-reaching, with multiple redundancies in place. Real-time information must reach decision-makers and combine with appropriate technologies to reach those on the fireground.

Your Mission

Create solutions that harness modern technologies to improve communication during a bushfire.


  • Public warning systems
    Are text messages, websites and radio broadcasts enough? What else can be done?
  • Resilience
    Can communication channels be strengthened to infrastructure damage and inclement weather?
  • Satellite imagery
    Map out fire-prone areas and predict the best times for controlled burns.
  • Inclusivity
    Can everyone understand the messages that are being broadcast? How can you improve this?
  • Collaboration
    How can technology companies, telecommunication experts, and emergency services work together better?

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 >>>

Public Information and Warnings – AIDR

The Australian Disaster Resilience Handbook Collection provides guidance on national principles and practices for disaster resilience.

Download PDF >>>

Video Based Resources

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

Communication and warnings are now seen as a priority in any emergency, but this hasn’t always been the case (9:48 minutes).

ABC News covers the new warning levels and what to do (2:07 minutes)

Other Resources


NSW Bushfire Technology

Bushfire telecommunications—remediation activities

Building resilient telecommunications infrastructure – CSIRO

Effective Communication of Bushfire Risk in the Urban-Parkland Interface

Emerging technologies for risk reduction: assessing the potential use of social media and VGI for increasing community engagement

How do Australians use social media during natural hazards?

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