QUIRINDI Fire and Rescue recently notched up 100 years serving the community and one man has been there for much of that time.
The station's deputy captain Peter Wratten is celebrating 40 years with the service and in doing so has become the longest-serving firefighter in the station's history.
However, for the Quirindi native, the last four decades have felt like a blur.
"I was a little surprised to be honest, it hasn't felt like that long," Mr Wratten told the Leader.
"It feels fantastic to have lasted this long. I'm really proud."
Mr Wratten said a desire to give back to the community he was raised in, was a major motivation behind his decision to join the service.
"I've always lived here - born and bred," he said.
"I get a lot of satisfaction out of serving the community, I personally find it very satisfying.
"Working with a team like this makes it even better, to be honest.
"It's good to have your mates around you and we've always gone out to try and get our mates to join."
The four decades have provided Mr Wratten with a variety of different experiences, however, he said not all of them have been good.
"It comes with the job, but there are some nasty things that stand out, but I don't like to dwell on those too much.
"To be honest, nothing really stands out as being what you would call a highlight.
"I've just come in, done my job and enjoyed all of it really."
Fire and Rescue NSW's current motto is 'prepared for anything', a motto Mr Wratten said was an accurate summary of the service.
"I'd say the biggest change to the service during my time has been attending less fires and more rescue-based call outs," he said.
"When I first started a lot more of what we did was to with fires, but now I would say we get called out to more rescue stuff.
"Another thing I've really noticed is the changes of style of our insignia.
"Our current style is probably about number six since I've joined.
"Six changes in my 40 years in the job, but it's still the same values at the end of the day, just a different look."
Mr Wratten said he would not be able to do the job without the support of his family.
"It is a great sacrifice for your family to have you go off at all hours of the day and night," he said.
"They've been a great support and they all love having a firiey in the family, especially the grandkids."