THE season for storms has blown upon the Tamworth region, and a brand new piece of equipment has arrived in town and is a force to be reckoned with.
The local State Emergency Service (SES) branch is now home to a "state-of-the-art" light storm truck; a vehicle decked out with all the latest gadgets and flash new equipment.
Tamworth crew member Campbell Wilkie said the team of dedicated volunteers is excited to have a new "toy" in the shed.
"This vehicle can be used for basically any rescue or any call for assistance," Mr Wilkie told the Leader.
"It's all about keeping up with the technology, we have a few older vehicles out the back, but they just don't go as good as this."
The storm truck proved its worth within mere days of rolling into Tamworth.
A wild and highly destructive hail storm ripped through the city at the end of October, causing widespread damage.
Calls for help flooded in, with SES crews in Tamworth and Armidale fielding more than 160 phone calls from locals.
"When the massive storm hit, the big hail storm, this vehicle was used to shovel hail out of gutters and helped us get up on roofs and all that kind of stuff," Mr Wilkie said.
"I'm still in the process of learning where everything is, but we've been able to take it out on calls for assistance and use it like a normal vehicle as well."
The truck can tackle 4WD tracks, carry about six people, and comes fully decked out with all the latest technology and equipment - from new chainsaws and ladders to a towball for a rescue boat.
"This truck is just get up and go," Mr Wilkie said.
SES deputy zone commander for the New England North West region Superintendent Mitch Parker said the light storm vehicle meant the service's valued volunteers have all the very best gear at their fingertips.
"We've got all sorts of new gadgets which makes all of the volunteers jobs much easier for them to do," Superintendent Parker said.
"The volunteers give up their time to help the community, so we want to equip them as best as we can so they can do their job in a safe and efficient manner."
Superintendent Parker said the new truck was "invaluable" during the hailstorm and the devastating aftermath, and said it's fortunate the new set of wheels arrived in Tamworth in time for what is anticipated to be a busy storm season.
The truck was funded by the NSW state government, and Emergency Services Minister David Elliott is expected to arrive in town on Thursday for the official handover.