Fire & Rescue NSW

As an emergency responder, FRNSW sees agility as a key priority, always aiming to make the right resources available at the right time. This inspired a vision of identity management that goes beyond users’ identities. Using NetIQ Identity Manager, FRNSW has built a highly automated environment for managing identities. The solution covers employees and their relatives, as well as vehicles and other assets.

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“With Identity Manager, we have a solid architecture in place, so provisioning new users is fast and easy.”Malcolm ThompsonAssistant director of IT infrastructure, Fire & Rescue NSW

About Fire & Rescue NSW

Fire & Rescue NSW (FRNSW) is the state government agency with statutory responsibility for providing fire, rescue and hazardous materials (hazmat) services in cities and towns across New South Wales. FRNSW operates 338 fire stations and a fleet of 663 firefighting vehicles.


With almost 7,000 firefighters and a similar number of community fire unit volunteers to manage, the IT function at FRNSW relies on Identity Manager to synchronize user information and access rights across numerous internal systems. FRNSW also acts as a service center for other agencies, providing identity management as a service to tens of thousands of external users.

“Identity Manager enables us to manage a huge set of users with just a handful of dedicated staff,” said Malcolm Thompson, assistant director of IT infrastructure. “We’re now at the maturity stage where ‘identity’ can mean any organizational asset, not just a person, so Identity Manager will play an integral role in the ongoing management and future development of our service delivery.”

Our Solution

Automated user identity provisioning is at the heart of FRNSW’s service-delivery capabilities, whether for internal users or external agencies. By upgrading to the latest version of Identity Manager, the organization is positioning itself to further extend its sophisticated identity management environment.

“We are a recognized center of excellence for IT services, providing identity management and SAP solutions not just to other fire services but also to other government agencies,” said Thompson. “Our IT services depend largely on our ability to provision, manage and ultimately deprovision identities. The federation capabilities of the solution also play an important role, as does NetIQ’s willingness to keep things simple on the licensing side.”

FRNSW currently manages nearly 100,000 identities on behalf of the emergency sector, including 7,000 of its own fire fighters and 7,000 community fire unit members. Identity Manager is integrated with an automatic vehicle location (AVL) solution and with the turnout systems that alert each fire station to emergencies. This enables a central view of the status and location of all 663 firefighting vehicles, helping FRNSW respond faster to emergencies.

“For us, identity management is a core capability that goes far beyond things like single sign-on,” said Malcolm Thompson. “We have a much more ambitious vision that encompasses all of our assets.”

The organization provides SAP Human Resources (HR) and Finance as a service to tens of thousands of users at NSW State Emergency Services and NSW Rural Fire Service. FRNSW also uses Identity Manager for its ‘Waste the Waist’ program, which supports firefighters’ efforts to keep fit by involving their families. Identity Manager provisions access rights for non-employees who sign up for the program, enabling them to log in and track their progress.

“With Identity Manager, we have a solid architecture in place, so provisioning new users is fast and easy,” said Thompson.


As an emergency responder, FRNSW needs an infrastructure that supports the timely deployment of people, vehicles and equipment. “Capability is a key concept for us: We have to be ‘can do’ people, and we can’t afford to waste time and effort on administration,” said Thompson. “Our role in IT is to set up automated systems that enable the business to manage its own assets. Having NetIQ on our side gives us a lot of capability.”

With Identity Manager, FRNSW has a seamless provisioning process that flows automatically from the creation of new identities in SAP. Rules based on business policies automate user and asset management right through to deprovisioning. This degree of automation means that only 10 employees are directly involved in managing all 100,000 identities at FRNSW.

“Thanks to Identity Manager, we don’t manage identities on the helpdesk: It’s the business that manages them,” said Thompson. “IT personnel are freed up to focus on the bigger issues of service provision, while the business gets the control and transparency it wants. The NetIQ solution is the reason we can do all this with such a small team.”


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  • Provided a seamless provisioning process that flows automatically from the creation of new identities in SAP
  • Automated systems, which enables businesses to manage their own assets

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