Naracoorte CFS volunteer protects NSW community

NSW FIRES: Naracoorte CFS volunteer Sam Drummond. Photo: Supplied.

NSW FIRES: Naracoorte CFS volunteer Sam Drummond. Photo: Supplied.

Fighting fires in NSW was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for local CFS volunteer Sam Drummond.

Sam was given the chance to visit Long Gully for one week and help control the fires with a group of 52 volunteers.

"I've sort of never had the opportunity to. I had to get time off work but I'm very grateful to them for letting me go," he told the Herald.

"We were sort of trying to make sure everything is not still going and keeping it under control and putting out hot spots."

Sam said being there gave him a different perspective on fire; with no green grass in sight, almost everything was blackened.

"Working on the NSW trucks is completely different to ours as well; they set up differently because of the hilly terrain."

Despite having volunteered in Naracoorte for over 14 years, Sam said it was difficult to adjust to what it was like in NSW.

"We're getting all this green grass over here. Being the fact they were in drought with a level four water restriction ... (the people) have a completely different attitude."

The volunteers were split up into three strike teams. Sam was in strike team Charlie which was made up of region five and six volunteers from the South East.

Sam said he had a similar routine each day; going over to the fire ground and finding the hot spots and preventing the fire from spreading.

"We were driving around the community, letting them know we were there, too.

"They were just grateful we were there.

"They'd been through hell and back, and some were lucky to still have their houses."

Sam arrived back in Naracoorte a week later, and said he'd love to go back if he was given the chance.

For now, he will continue volunteering at the Naracoorte brigade, which he says is like "one big family".

"It was well worth it. A very different but rewarding experience."