Lifelong Best Mates Honoured By NSW RFS For Protecting Their Community For 70 Years
There are hundreds of thousands of people who have volunteered for their local fire service in Australia over the years.
While many have come and gone, there are two men who have stuck to the job for an incredible amount of time.
Bill Johnson and Albert Newton have been best mates throughout their lives and they've also been protecting their community for 70 years.
Imagine doing anything on the regular for seven decades and come back to us when you're done.
These two started their community fire service commitment in New South Wales in the middle of the last century and have been showing up year on year when the bushfire season begins. The duo were helping fight fires before there was even a fire service in Bilpin.
"If there was a fire, the local post-mistress used to ring around and ask, was there anybody that could go and help," Mr Newton told 9News.
"Dad said, do you want to, and I thought, being 16, that would be a big adventure."
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They've been mates since they were teenagers and they've had one hell of a life together.
"We worked together, we fought fires together, we cut timber together, got drunk together, chased girls together," Mr Johnson said.
After putting in the impressive innings, they've now been honoured for their hard work and dedication to their craft.
Aged 86 and 90, Bill and Albert have battled more than 100 blazes together and say last year's devastating infernos that ripped through the Blue Mountains were horrific to watch.
"I remember driving up the road and I said, geez, there is going to be a fire here, just by looking at the bush," Mr Johnson said.
They've been awarded medals for their outstanding contribution and they were shocked to receive the accolades.
"I was just shocked, it's something you dream about and never expect to see," Mr Newton said.
"I don't feel like I've done anything extraordinary, I've just got old," Mr Johnson said.
These two are bloody legends and deserve to be celebrated for fronting up all these years to make sure their community is safe.
Mr Newton said while he might not be out on the fire ground, he'll still be around to lend a hand.
Featured Image Credit: 9News