The Crescent Head Rural Fire Service (RFS) brigade has seen a huge influx of new people wanting to join in the wake of last years Black Summer bushfires.
Numbering 16 in total, the recruits have come from a wide range of backgrounds and age demographics, but they are all united by the same cause, to help their community.
Local panel beater Nathan Emery is among the new faces, and with the memories of last year still fresh in his mind, he is keen to help out in future emergencies.
"I couldn't do anything to help when the fires hit last Christmas, but I'm keen to make myself useful now and help the community, whether that be protecting peoples lives or property," he said.
"I've already been out to a back burning, and a few accidents, the whole training experience has been great, I'm loving it.
"I've recently passed my on-road and off-road tests as well, so I can help drive the trucks and make sure the sirens work."
Dirk Morris is another new addition to the ranks, and despite no formal training, he is already well acquainted with what it takes to fight fires.
"I have cattle farms up river and saw first hand the devastation when the fires tore through the Macleay last year," he said.
"Some of the old hands up river knew what to do and organised us into unofficial firefighting units, after that experience, I figured I might as well make it official and join the RFS.
"I'm hoping to get the skills and experience to be able to protect my own properties and the wider community in case of future disasters."
Long time local Catherine Smith is another potential new member, and while she wasn't directly affected by the fires last year, she still decided to take the plunge and volunteer.
"I was working at the hospital through most of the fires, we had a few nurses who lost their homes, they are still trying to recover," Catherine said.
"I joined because I wanted to help the community, I was a bit unsure about it at first, but everyone was quick to welcome me, it's like one big family, they are a great group of people."
Unfortunately, Catherine wasn't able to join the other recruits during the recent testing period, but she is locked in for later in the year.
"I had eye surgery recently, and I've had to wait until the next training intake, which is a bit disappointing, I was looking forward to it," she said.
"I'm over the moon, our pool of drivers has doubled, and with the influx of new volunteers, it's taking the pressure off some of our long time members."Greg Kings
"Joining the RFS has already been a great experience; there are always new skills to learn."
All over the country, RFS brigades are seeing record numbers of volunteers, and Crescent Head Brigade captain, Greg Kings, has been floored by the numbers coming forward in the local community.
"I'm over the moon, our pool of drivers has doubled, and with the influx of new volunteers, it's taking the pressure off some of our long time members," he said.
"I used to have the problem of too many seats and not enough bums, now I've got too many bums and not enough seats."
Aside from the extra hands to help out, the level of enthusiasm being displayed has left the captain very impressed.
"I'm blown away by the enthusiasm, we have been training twice a week to get all our new members through the training, I'm confident everyone will pass their tests and be an asset to the brigade," Greg said.
Anybody interested in helping out their community and joining the RFS can visit www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/volunteer for more information.
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