It's been about 20 years since the RFS brigade at Eungai had a new tanker but what they have now was certainly worth the wait.
The brand new Category 1 Bush Fire Tanker, complete with drop down window shields, tyre sprinklers and halo system to protect the crews in case of a fire storm was welcomed by volunteers at a reception today.
While it's automatic transmission remains less popular, no one was complaining when the Minister for Emergency Services, David Elliott, the Member for Oxley, Melinda Pavey, and NSW Rural Fire Service Chief Superintendent,Tim Butcher, turned up for the official launch.
Lower North Coast Zone manager Lachlann Ison said the event was an opportunity to open the doors officially on the latest station extensions, which include an additional vehicle bay, training room with kitchen and amenities plus additional storage capacity. And the cream was a new tanker, plus a chance to acknowledge the work of the volunteers.
"This brigade is central to the zone - it services two towns, all the surrounding bushland and also the Pacific Highway," Lachlann said.
The entire investment of the gear and upgrade was $536,000, an amount the Minister said was more than deserved.
"The best part of this job is coming to dedicate facilities to our emergency service workers," Minister Elliott said.
"Back when I was a kid, we put fires out with a hessian sack and a stick ... now this Department has an air wing, an investigations unit, 80,000 officers and a media unit.
"But it is the brigades themselves that are the backbone of so many communities ... what we have here today is still only a small token of what you deserve."
The brigade's president, 76-year-old Bob Moore, assisted the Minister with the unveiling of the plaque.
"This truck and the upgrade have been coming and coming for a long time - it's good they have finally arrived."
The day was tinged with reflection, as it was previous brigade captain, the late Steve Flockton, who really got the process of renewal underway - his wife Peggy and daughter Sandy were there as special guests.