The heroes in yellow who make up the Bonny Hills Rural Fire Service unit say this bushfire season felt never ending.
The 2018/2019 season seemed to roll into the 2019/2020 season and at best they expect to have just a few weeks down time before the next season starts.
Talking to the men and women it is clear each volunteer is passionate about their job and when they get the call it is all stations go.
Recent summer months will go down in history as some of the most relentless for fires. But they say they had it better than most.
In the Hastings we started with the Lindfield Park fire and then just a few months after the Mid North Coast went up in flames foreshadowing what would come by Christmas at Lake Cathie and in Crowdy Bay National Park.
The general consensus in the unit however was that we dodged the worst of it.
"We would be out patrolling or responding to a call and on the way home asked to go and assist another crew."
The crew said this might happen two, four or six times in a night. So what they thought would be a simple exercise was an all night endeavour.
"And that was common. Every unit across the region was in the same situation. It was relentless. Obviously we respond to all the calls but after the ninth smoke sighting that turned out to be nothing it becomes frustrating.
"Crews north and down south copped a lot more than we did."
A number of firies from the unit sat down to discuss the fire season and said it is hard to remember specific fires or incidents because the fire season went on for too long they blended into a haze of callouts.
"After so many call outs after so many months there is a bit of apprehension about whether the call out is for a fire or a smoke sighting," one said.
"There were a few hairy moments. A few times we were tasked to go down one road and we were glad to get to the other end.
"Needing to put your protective gear on in the truck with fire on each side of the road can be confronting. But that is also what we are there for.
At the height of the fires the community came together when they found out crews had to stock their own trucks.
They said food packs and local businesses were instrumental in helping crews.
"Since the worst of it we have had so many people come and give donations and kids writing cards," another firie said.
"We don't do it for the accolades but it does put a lump in your throat when the kids come and say thanks."
Will they get back on the truck next season? They already are.
"For us we have a few down weeks or months but that is spent honing our skills and training up new volunteers," Mr Dunn said.
"We did get a few volunteers sign up during the fires but it is a process to get qualified so that is what we are focusing on now.
"We are the primary response service at Bonny Hills so even if it is not fire season we still have callouts. And then there is always something to be done around the station so the work never stops."
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