Two of Gunnedah's freshest firefighters have already notched up a year in the brigade.
Fire and Rescue's Tymika Bradford-Robbins and Monica Bentham completed their phase one and two training together and are fully fledged firefighters.
It has been a huge year of learning and they've even had the chance to test their knowledge further afield as part of strike teams in Tingha and Tenterfield.
The pair are adamant they will stay on and are excited to continue as part of the "well-oiled team".
Ms Bentham has taken to her role like a duck on water and said if she had realised just how much she would love it, she would have "joined right out of school and made a career of it".
"It's been amazing," she said.
"We've been exposed to so many different things, which really solidifies that Fire and Rescue is more than just firefighting ... the skills that we've acquired, the training and everything else supports us in being able to respond effectively to all manner of incidents, has just been incredible, so I'm really grateful for those opportunities."
Ms Bentham's recent bush fire experience has increased her "perception and awareness" and she has learnt that "communication is absolutely essential" on the ground.
She said hazmat incidents and people rescue had taught her the importance of practicing patience when lives were on the line.
"Having patience [is key] - not just diving in; you can see what the problem is, but not just going straight in; being really aware of hazards.
"It's everyone's job to be on the look-out for change of conditions."
Ms Bentham said she was lucky to be part of the Gunnedah crew and felt like a "valued member of the team".
"Even though I'm fairly junior in the crew, if I notice something, I can absolutely know I can pass it up the line and be listened to," she said.
Ms Bentham said she has "already learnt so much" from experienced firefighters but has also had a chance to pass on her own knowledge.
When the NVI first met Ms Bradford-Robbins a year ago, she said she felt like she was part of a "fire-fighting family", and she stands by this comment today.
"It's all about teamwork; where one goes, the other goes," she said.
"You know who the incident commander is or the controller, and you know where everyone's spots are."
Fighting bush fires has further emphasised the importance of working as a team.
"Communication is key because you've got to be in tune - you've got to know where your other strike team members are and you've got to know where your duty commander is," she said.
Don't put yourself in a position where you won't get home.Tymika Bradford-Robbins
Ms Bradford-Robbins said she likes "getting in the thick of it" but always tries to keep safety in focus.
"You've all got to get home ... that's in the back of my head - 'Don't do anything silly - make sure you get home; you've got family and friends waiting for you'," she said.
"Basically, don't put yourself in a position where you won't get home."
The firefighter said she liked that she had an identifiable role in the community and her three-year-old daughter was proud as punch.
"She thinks it's great that I'm a firefighter and she has her own firefighter shirt that she wears, and she walks around and says, 'I'm a firefighter like my mum'," Ms Bradford-Robbins said.
Their captain, David Welch, said Ms Bentham and Ms Bradford-Robbins had both demonstrated that "they are more than capable".
"They both have great enthusiasm and have fitted in with our team very well. We are lucky to have them and hope that they will continue with FRNSW," he said.
The brigade is looking forward to three new recruits starting early next year.