A SPECIAL guest was in and out like a flash at the Tamworth State Emergency Service (SES) centre on Thursday, to hand over the keys to a new state-of-the-art storm truck.
NSW Emergency Services Minister David Elliott ducked into the station to find out how the brand new vehicle - worth almost $200,000 - was travelling so far.
"What we're seeing here is the State Emergency Service coming into the next generation and getting that step up," Mr Elliot said.
"As a professional volunteer agency, they've certainly been able to respond to a whole variety of incidents over its 50-year history, but now what we're seeing with these ... new vehicles is proof that the volunteers are professional, and proof that they can do any job that they're called out to do."
Mr Elliott said the light storm trucks are being rolled out to SES crews as part of the state's "record budget" for emergency services.
"What we see here with with this new storm truck, is their ability to keep up with the technology and those improved assets," Mr Elliot said.
The storm truck has been on deck at Tamworth for a few weeks, and volunteers told Mr Elliot how handy it was when responding to call-outs after October's huge hail storm.
Mr Elliott said it proved the people of Tamworth are also better off with the light storm truck in town.
"The SES are only there to benefit the community, so next time a member of the community calls the SES, they can have the confidence that the professional volunteer attending is going to have the best kit made available," he said.