Derek Stratton says it was a natural transition to go from being involved in the army to working for Fire and Rescue NSW.
"For me being a firefighter was a really good fit," the acting station officer for Port Macquarie said.
"I enjoy working in a team of highly trained and motivated people.
"The environment is always challenging and really rewarding."
Mr Stratton has been with the local team for the past two years and loves his work.
"It's the best job in the world," he said.
"It's exciting to come to work because you never know what you're going to experience.
"Each day is different."
Mr Stratton said firefighters within Fire and Rescue NSW still operate in a paramilitary style, similar to what he was used to in the army.
"We have a rank structure, wear a uniform, have discipline at work and follow strict rules and guidelines," he said.
"Every team member plays a crucial role in getting the job done.
"I found it (the transition) pretty easy because I'd already had the discipline instilled in me."
Mr Stratton joined the Fire and Rescue NSW service in 2002.
He worked in Sydney and Coffs Harbour before joining the team at Port Macquarie.
Mr Stratton credited his team members at the station as having the ability to adapt under extreme pressure at times.
"Knowing the strength and weakness of your team is really important," he said.
Mr Stratton said he gets enjoyment out of children's reactions when they see the big red truck with flashing lights going up the road.
"It's great to see the kids' faces light up when we drive pass," he said.
"We could be waving at a future firefighter."
When the devastating bushfires hit the region in 2019 the community rallied around firefighters.
"We're still feeling the impact from when the bushfires first started in July last year," he said.
Firefighters have remained busy due to bushfires, floods and through winter by attending emergencies operating under COVID-19 restrictions.
Mr Stratton said it was a rewarding feeling to receive messages of support during the bushfire crisis.
"The way the community rallied around all the emergency services was awesome," he said.