Many new recruits to Mid Coast NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) brigades signed up because they want to render assistance if another catastrophic bushfire season occurs.
That's according to Mid Coast NSW RFS district officer, Stuart Robb, who said the district welcomed a large influx of new recruits as a direct result of the crisis.
More than 600 new firefighters joined the ranks in 2020, triple the normal rate.
"It can be frustrating when there's an event impacting an area and you can't contribute," Mr Robb said.
"Australians are resilient and one of the things we're good at is hooking in and giving our friends, neighbours and communities a hand.
"These new recruits are prepared and ready for this fire season and it puts us in good stead as far as our resources and capability."
New members were trained in the bushfire 'off-season' but Mr Robb said it was a challenge due to COVID-19 constraints.
"We still have fires and motor vehicle accidents so it's not like the lights were switched off and the rollers were pulled down for a 12 month hiatus," he said.
"They do what they normally do in an off-season and that's prepare."
Mr Robb recently visited the Rainbow Flat brigade one year on from losing its station in the fires.
Strong smoke and sweltering conditions were replaced by a mild and, at times, cold day.
WATCH: Rainbow Flat firefighters and community discuss the bushfire crisis.
Mr Robb and the crew noted the regrowth of the bush and green trees.
This was a direct contrast to blackened and smouldering bushland.
With a new station on the way, things are looking brighter for the dedicated volunteers.
Mr Robb said it was important to recognise most firefighters on the ground in 2019 were volunteers from across a variety of agencies.
"They were giving up time away from their families and work to help our community with the fire situation," Mr Robb said.
"That's an enormous effort and the countless hours put in by those firefighters was unbelievable."
The local crews were joined by firefighters from across Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
These new recruits are prepared and ready for this fire season and it puts us in good stead as far as our resources and capability.Stuart Robb, Mid Coast NSW RFS district officer
"Without those people coming in to the area to help it may have been a different outcome to what we had," Mr Robb said.
While large areas were burnt, houses were destroyed and one life was lost, 2300 homes were saved.
"Those statistics may have been far worse than what we ended up with even though the losses were hard for those communities," Mr Robb said.
Mr Robb said a combination of effects caused the catastrophic conditions. The weather did play its part but stressed and dry vegetation as a result of severe drought didn't help either.
"We knew things were not going to be great," Mr Robb said.
"Our summers are getting warmer, they're getting longer and we're having less of a transitional period between bushfire seasons.
"I think it's the new extreme not the new norm.
"If everyone does their bit and prepares their patch, potentially that will reduce impacts on communities in future fire events."