Forty-two Rural Fire Service brigades in the Southern Highlands could now benefit from funds made available through the $51m Celeste Barber bushfire appeal.
Brigades across NSW are invited to apply for up to $10,000 each for the purchase of firefighting equipment for their stations.
An RFS media spokesman Greg Allan told the Southern Highland News that $20 million of the funds raised by the comedian had been set aside to meet specific funding requests from RFS.
He said that the money would be made available for equipment not already receiving government funding.
Mr Allan made the comment following a Supreme Court decision on May 25 regarding how the $51 million raised by Barber could be used.
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Barber had originally nominated the NSW Rural Fire Service as the beneficiary of the campaign, but then expanded her target with the hope of raising funds for other charities in what became the largest charity drive in Facebook's history.
The trustees of the NSW Rural Fire Service and Brigades Donations Fund sought advice from the NSW Supreme Court as to the proper interpretation of its April 2012 trust deed.
However Justice Michael Slattery ruled on May 25 in the Supreme Court that the trustee could not pay money to other charities or rural fire services - whether in NSW or elsewhere in Australia - to assist people or animals affected by bushfire.
Mr Allan said the NSW RFS and Brigades Donation Fund was happy that the ruling allowed for funds to be set aside to support firefighters who were injured or killed and their families.
The ruling will also allow for mental or physical health support and training.
"We are happy that it can also be used to help with further training of firefighters," he said.
"We took the matter to the Supreme Court because we wanted to fulfil the wishes attached to the fundraising effort.
"We also sought input from RFS volunteers about what they wanted."
Mr Allan said the outcome of the court appeal was that the conditions of the RFS trust had to be upheld.
"But the good news is that we can set up a fund to support injured firefighters and the families of those who have died," he said. "We can also use the funds for physical and mental health of our volunteers and for training."
Mr Allan said that about 150 brigades had already made applications for funding.
"It has been a positive outcome to get brigades taking up this funding opportunity," he said.
"This funding will help the brigades, the volunteers and their communities."
The NSW RFS always welcomes new volunteers.
For further information go to https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/volunteer/volunteering-with-the-rfs