Assistant Commissioner Stephen Smith, Assistant Commissioner, South Western Region, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services
Steve is the Assistant Commissioner South Western Region, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES). Joining the Service in 1994, he progressed through to his current rank of Assistant Commissioner, serving in various regional and state roles. He has extensive knowledge, skills and experience in the fire, rescue, hazmat and emergency management fields with a particular interest in disaster preparedness and response.
Steve leads a large and diverse region, headquartered in Toowoomba. The region spans the entire south west corner of Queensland from Toowoomba in the east, to just north of Augathella and across and down to the South Australian and New South Wales borders. Steve’s team, of approximately 600 staff, is responsible for providing the South Western Region community with fire, rescue, hazmat and emergency management services delivered through headquarters functions and 40 fire stations.
Prior to appointment as an Assistant Commissioner, Steve was Director – State Operational Coordination Branch, responsible for the readiness and operation of the QFES State Operations Centre, and the Queensland Government State Disaster Coordination Centre. All of these capabilities delivered state-wide services critical to the conduct of Queensland Fire and Emergency Services operations and whole-of-government coordination.
Steve has an in-depth knowledge and understanding of all aspects of technical rescue and specialised operations, underpinned by many years of developing and delivering training, managing capability development and responding to diverse and challenging operational incidents. He remains the international program manager for Australia Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Taskforce 1 (Queensland).
This work has led to Steve’s involvement in a number of overseas USAR deployments. He has represented Australia at numerous United Nations, International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) events, is an INSARAG USAR Classification Team Leader and is engaged in USAR Team Mentoring. He has sat on various INSARAG Working Groups since 2011.