EVERY time a bushfire sends families fleeing in the Brisbane or Lockyer Valley, there's at least one volunteer firefighter heading directly into the blaze.
These community-minded men and women were honoured on Tuesday as part of Yellow Ribbon Day, or National Firefighters Remembrance Day, as Australians stopped to say 'thanks' for their sacrifice and bravery.
First officer with the Hattonvale-Summerholm brigade Jamie Reside said it was valuable to acknowledge the efforts of the nation's firefighters.
"We don't have a high fatality rate but the truth is people have lost their lives helping out their community,” he said.
"As volunteers, we mostly talk about the volunteers and I know there are firefighters on the payroll, but they still deserve to go home.
"They're not paid to leave a family behind or anything.”
Mr Reside added the day served as a strong reminder for volunteers to take their safety training seriously.
"I suppose we all put ourselves in those situations and it could happen to anyone at any point so it's about being safe and using your training,” he said.
"You can get a little complacent when you go through the colder months and that's when the training starts getting a bit boring, because you're not doing any fires and it can be hard to keep people motivated.
"You've got to train like your life depends on it, because at the end of the day, it does.”
Fordsdale's first officer Wayne Scholl said the region's volunteers deserved the recognition, especially after large numbers of firefighters were required to battle bushfires near Esk and Murphys Creek last month.
"It's just good to remember those who we've lost, because it's not hard to get hurt at an incident,” he said.
"You go to a fire and it's not hard to get trapped.
"I believe the rural fire service is like a big family who watches each other's back, does service for the community and supports each other.”
Yellow Ribbon Day was initially a protest movement and evolved into a day of recognition and respect.
Find more information on your local brigade below or phone the West Moreton Rural Fire Services office on (07) 3294 4944 to find your closest brigade.
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