Firefighter Phil Muldoon says he's nothing without his crew.
The humble chief fire officer of the Lake Okareka Rural Fire Service is this week's Daily Post Local Hero.
After missing a family Christmas due to fires in Canterbury, he is now making up the time at home. He and nine other firefighters missed Christmas Day at home after choosing to respond to a call for help.
"That was pretty intense," Mr Muldoon said. "It involved every aspect of firefighting you could think of. There were chemicals, machinery, a few structures, a grass fire and it ended up on a pine plantation. It ticked all the boxes."
Mr Muldoon is one of three in the Rotorua district whose names are on a list for deployment at any time. He was on standby for the Victorian bushfires two years ago and last year went to the far north for a scrub/peat fire.
He's been a volunteer firefighter since he and his family moved to Okareka 13 years ago, rising to the ranks of chief fire officer.
"I wanted to be involved in the community," Mr Muldoon said.
"It was pretty full, I had two call outs in my first week. One was a structure fire and the other a medical assist.
"We cover a broad spectrum. We had to rescue a dog from a roof, other call outs tend to be quite serious."
And the obligatory cats up trees have been a regular thing in his time.
"And horses in ditches. You name it."
He has a pretty understanding boss - he's a self-employed carpenter - but knows how hard being a volunteer firefighter can be for the rest of his crew.
"I have to write the occasional letter," he said.
There are 20 in the Lake Okareka Rural Fire Service but they are always on the hunt for more volunteers he said.