After 18 years of service to his community and the wider region, NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) volunteer Terry Job has decided it's time to step down from his senior management role.
Terry has been the group captain for Area 1 in Parkes since 2001 and with his 70th birthday fast approaching and a keen successor ready to take on the role, he felt it was the perfect time to retire.
He handed over the reins in December to Scott Baker, former Parkes Headquarters Rural Fire Brigade captain and deputy group captain, who has many years of experience in the RFS.
Scott was honoured to have been chosen by the Group 1 brigades for "such a responsible and highly respected position" and said that he would work hard to support the volunteers of his area.
He also thanked Terry for mentoring and supporting him over the years and said he hoped to continue on in Terry's footsteps.
Terry, however, won't be stepping away from the fire ground all together - he will still be volunteering with his local brigade.
Even just last month he was serving in the Kempsey-Macksville area as operational safety officer.
"I will be 70 in March and with a very keen member in Scott, it was the perfect opportunity to step down," Terry said.
"What will I miss most? I will miss the decision-making process and interacting with crews and the community.
"As a group captain you have a lot to do with the community, with meetings and things like that, you have a say in the community."
Terry joined the NSW RFS in 1966 and has been an active member of the West Parkes Rural Fire Brigade ever since.
His long-service saw him nominated for Parkes' Citizen of the Year award on Australia Day this year.
Prior to becoming a group captain, Terry held the position of brigade captain for five years.
During his time as group captain, he was involved in a number of major incidents within the Mid Lachlan Valley Team area, as well as leading regional Strike Teams to fires in the Blue Mountains, Nowra, Tamworth, Canberra and Victoria.
I will miss the decision-making process and interacting with crews and the community.Terry Job
Mid Lachlan Valley Team manager Superintendent Ken Neville acknowledged Terry's dedicated service to Parkes and the community of NSW, and praised his outstanding record as an experienced firefighter and senior officer.
Supt Neville said during the Alectown fires of 2004, Terry was one of the first senior officers to arrive on scene.
"Terry's experience and knowledge were invaluable in providing advice to staff on what resources were required and what strategies were needed to protect life and property," he said.
"Terry continued to work at the Alectown fires for many days to ensure the area was safe."
Terry has also represented the Parkes RFS brigades on a number of committees.
He is passionate about supporting the members of the RFS and has never been one to shy away when it comes to standing up for the welfare and safety of hardworking volunteers.
He was a member of the Rural Fire Service Association Infrastructure Committee from 2010-2015 and remains a member of the State Membership Committee, which he's been involved with for four years.
Terry was instrumental in the development of the RFS School Cadets, with the idea pitched in 2004 and the program beginning at Parkes and Forbes high schools a year later.
The first state trial of the NSW RFS School Cadet Program was held at Parkes High School under Terry's leadership.
This trial went so well that it was developed into an ongoing event at high schools across NSW with Terry still assisting in the management of the program at Parkes High every year.
While it is no longer running at Forbes High, Terry said the program in Parkes sees an average of 18 cadets a year.
"And two thirds of those have been female," he said.
"It's great (the program's success) - it's a good feeling knowing so many are benefiting from the program."
Terry has bigger plans for the program's future too.
"I'd like to continue on with them once the program at the school is completed to help them get their Basic Firefighter Certificate," he said.
"I'd really like to introduce that - we may only get half a dozen continue on but that's half a dozen more firefighters trained in their communities who can fight fires."
Terry has been an appointed member of the Parkes RFS District Liaison Committee since 2005, representing the RFS volunteers from the Parkes district.
Supt Neville has described his contribution and commitment to this committee as outstanding and he has worked with the staff and other members to ensure volunteers have access to new tankers, brigade stations and modern equipment.
He is currently a member of the planning team for the new Parkes Headquarters Brigade station that is being built in Hanlon Street and due to be completed in 2020.
At a recent meeting of the Parkes Local Emergency Management Committee, Chief Inspector Dave Cooper acknowledged Terry's valuable contribution to his community over many years.
Chief Inspector Cooper said it had been a pleasure to work with Terry who had always carried out his duties in a very professional manner and that his knowledge and expertise would be greatly missed.
The whole committee joined Chief Inspector Cooper in congratulating Terry on his retirement as a group captain and wishing him well in the future.
Terry wanted to take the opportunity to thank his wife Carol for her ongoing support.
"She's put up with me in this role for all these years," he said.
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