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Customer Snapshot: Overview

Protecting 7.3 million residents and AU$1.4 trillion of community infrastructure

Fire & Rescue New South Wales

Customer Website

Line of Business
Asset Management, Finance, Human Resources, Sourcing and Procurement, Supply Chain

SAP Solutions
SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA, SAP HANA

Sydney, Australia

Number of Employees
6,900 firefighters, 418 administrative staff, 6,000 community fire unit members

Public Sector

Already the most populous state in Australia, New South Wales continues to grow. Consequently, so does the need for fire and rescue services. Fire & Rescue New South Wales (FRNSW) implemented the SAP HANA platform to address these demands by improving interagency transparency and using data to efficiently protect people and property.

Customer Snapshot: History

Keeping the State Safe for More than a Century

FRNSW, along with its sister agencies NSW Sate Emergency Services (SES) and NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS), enhance community safety, quality of life, and public confidence by minimizing the impact of emergencies on the people, environment, and economy of New South Wales. Besides responding to man-made and natural emergencies, they run prevention and preparedness programs to help minimize the occurrence of emergencies and their effects on communities.

Customer Snapshot: Business Model

Specialists in Urban and Rural Emergencies

FRNSW operates 339 fire stations across the state and nearly 14,000 firefighters who are responsible for managing fire emergencies in major cities, metropolitan areas, and towns across New South Wales. The agency works closely with NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) and NSW State Emergency Services (SES), often providing coordinated responses to large-scale emergencies.
With nearly 74,000 volunteers, NSW RFS is one of the world’s largest volunteer firefighting organizations. It is the lead combat agency for bush fires, protecting the approximately 93% of New South Wales that is considered rural. NSW State Emergency Service oversees 229 units with approximately 10,000 volunteers whose major responsibilities are for flood and storm operations. The SES also provides the majority of general rescue efforts in rural NSW.

Customer Snapshot: Success Strategy


Interagency Cooperation

FRNSW is committed to reducing response time by improving procedures and service delivery. To achieve these objectives more efficiently, FRNSW has taken the lead in consolidating the key data used to protect the public. The goal is to maximize responsiveness to emergencies by simplifying how the agencies can share resources according to the unique needs of each situation.

The Challenge

Supporting Front-line Staff in Critical Situations

Effectively coordinating the resources that respond to emergencies helps save lives and property. However, FRNSW, NSW RFS, and SES separately developed and acquired up to 90 unique processes and applications to support their missions. The agencies determined that standardization and consolidation could significantly reduce inefficiencies and streamline operations in ways that provide direct benefits to the people of New South Wales.

Enter SAP

Opportunities for Interoperability
We wanted the robustness for which SAP software is widely known, and the trusted name behind it. – Gavin Brown, Assistant Director of SAP Services, Fire & Rescue New South Wales

FRNSW and its sister agencies have used SAP Business Suite applications for many years to support multiple business functions, including procurement, logistics, finance, and human resources. The three agencies, along with the state Attorney General’s department and the Ministry for Police and Emergency Services independently selected SAP software for optimizing business processes through standardization.

Enter SAP: The SAP Experience

Updated and Undisturbed
When SAP announced the launch of the SAP HANA platform, FRNSW asked about potential uses for the technology. However, they made the specific requirement that public safety operations could not be interrupted during implementation. 
Representatives from SAP and FRNSW collaborated to develop an incremental deployment plan. First, they introduced SAP HANA for analyzing non-SAP data and accelerating reports generated by the SAP Business Warehouse application. Following those successful implementations, the FRNSW team wanted to migrate SAP Business Suite from the agency’s existing Oracle RAC database to SAP HANA. With assistance from the SAP Consulting organization, FRNSW, NSW RFS, and SES executed the migration to SAP HANA in only 12 weeks.
12 weeks to implement SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA

Better Business

Shared Information in One Location

The fire and rescue agencies, AG’s department, and the Ministry for Police and Emergency Services all operate on a single instance of SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA. Moving to SAP HANA helped shrink the database for FRNSW’s SAP Business Warehouse application from 300 GB to 49 GB – nearly 84% – with an equally dramatic reduction to report times. Similarly, the move from Oracle to SAP HANA shrank the SAP Business Suite production database nearly 71%, from 750 GB to 220 GB.


84% reduction in database size for SAP Business Warehouse (from 300 GB to 49GB)
71% compression of production database after switching from Oracle to SAP HANA

Better Business: Benefits

Effectively Deploying People and Equipment

FRNSW and the other agencies now have greater visibility into their operations, resources, and staffing, and are continually finding new ways to use data-driven insights to protect people and property. For instance, many firefighters have acquired specific skills over time, and records of up to 30 years of their training and experience are now available in real time via SAP HANA.

That means agencies can send the right people and the right equipment to emergencies using real-time knowledge. Because response time can often keep an emergency from turning into a tragedy, every added dimension that can contribute to situational awareness and response is vital.
To do the best possible job for the people of New South Wales, we must ensure that our front-line staff have access to the best equipment at all times. By putting all the important information about this equipment in one place, accessible in real time via SAP HANA, we will be able to do better at that than ever before. – Gavin Brown, Assistant Director of SAP Services, Fire & Rescue New South Wales

Records on 30 years of training available in real time

Better Business: Run Simple

More Reliable, Flexible, and Efficient

As NSW’s population continues to grow, the number and severity of natural and man-made disasters is expected to increase the need for disaster services. The first major test of the new SAP HANA system occurred when dozens of bush fires scorched thousands of acres in New South Wales and blanketed Sydney in thick smoke and ash for days.

The agencies helped minimize property damage and personal injuries by using SAP HANA to collect, analyze, and present information to incident controllers working to contain wild, wind-driven fires.

Journey Ahead


Prevention Through Prediction

FRNSW is already investigating ways to further leverage SAP HANA. An enterprise asset management program is anticipated to link key information about equipment, vehicles, and properties for the benefit of first responders.
When FRNSW completes that project, it will move to what it calls the project minder, which ambitiously aims to respond to disasters before they happen. The agency wants to analyze real-time data to dispatch crews to where the need is most likely, giving firefighters and rescuers the ability to end incidents quickly or, better still, prevent them from happening at all. For example, arson fires are more likely in certain places during certain times of year. The presence of fire crews at the right place and time could provide tangible results.

Pressing forward to 100% safety

We are now rethinking our data warehouse strategy with the SAP HANA Live offerings. The promise of getting live reporting straight out of the suite is enticing – getting information in real time that used to take up to a day. It will also allow us to simplify the user experience and bring analytics to the desktop. Gavin Brown, Assistant Director of SAP Services, Fire & Rescue New South Wales
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