The NSW Rural Fire Service has won enormous respect from the Australian public during the frightening bushfire season.
As the fires and drought worsened, we've all been praying for rain.
The rain finally came and, in some areas, it was torrential. Concerns changed from fire to flood. Another volunteer agency - the State Emergency Service - was called in.
NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons captured the transition perfectly last Friday with this tweet: "With significant focus shifting from fires to floods, the NSW RFS State Operations Centre has now been reconfigured to operate as the NSW SES Sydney Zone Operations Centre in support of statewide flood operations".
In the Hunter, the SES received 233 calls for assistance from midnight on Saturday to about 5pm on Sunday. Forty teams of four were in the field across the region helping people deal with problems like leaking roofs and trees down on properties.
SES rescuers, with help from police, saved a 16-year-old boy who fell from his canoe and was trapped in waist-deep water in the Allyn River in the Dungog area.
While the rain brought pain, it also brought hope that the drought could soon break and fires would be put out.
On Monday, the RFS tweeted a picture of a volunteer firefighter rejoicing in the rain.
"This is the most positive news we've had in some time. The recent rainfall has assisted firefighters to put over 30 fires out since Friday. Some of these blazes have been burning for weeks and even months," it said.
Then on Tuesday, the RFS tweeted that rain had significantly reduced fire activity across NSW. "It is a welcome relief for communities and firefighters alike. Twenty-six bush and grass fires are still burning across the state with four not yet contained [in the Snowy Valley and Monaro areas]."
Another volunteer organisation that's crucial to the Australian way of life is Surf Life Saving. Young lifesavers Nicholas White, Lily Kennedy-Myers and Jet Hoffman have been honoured for saving the lives of three people caught in a rip at Redhead Beach. The trio, from Redhead Surf Life Saving Club, won the Surf Life Saving NSW Rescue of the Month Award.
Organisations like the RFS, SES and Surf Life Saving go above and beyond for their community.
We should all be eternally grateful.