TWO of the region’s volunteer firefighters have returned from what they say was the trip of a lifetime.
Tamworth City Rural Fire Service (RFS) volunteer Jeffrey Bartlett and Barry Grob from the Northern Tablelands group joined a group of six fellow NSW emergency services volunteers on a special voyage from Brisbane to Sydney on the Queen Mary 2 earlier this month.
Mr Bartlett and Mr Grob joined other “summer heroes” from Tasmania’s Fire Service, Victoria’s Country Fire Authority and the Queensland State Emergency Service as the honoured guests of Cunard Line.
Mr Bartlett said he was honoured to have been chosen to go on the cruise.
“You don’t sign up for anything, other than being able to help people,” he said.
“To know that such an organisation recognises and appreciates what we do is huge, though.”
Cunard president and managing director Peter Shanks said the Queen Mary 2’s “Salute to the Summer Heroes” allowed the community to acknowledge the volunteers, as well as the overall contribution of volunteer organisations.
“It is humbling to know that emergency services volunteers risk everything to protect their communities in the most extreme conditions – and they do it willingly, year after year, and sometimes at great personal cost,” Mr Shanks said.
Mr Bartlett joined the RFS more than 35 years ago.