A dream Aaron Kitto has harboured for a quarter of a century has come true.
The Gore Volunteer Fire Brigade Station Officer was awarded a gold star for his 25 years of service to the organisation and life membership of the brigade on Saturday.
His service began with the Wyndham brigade in 1995, before he transferred to Gore in 2000.
It was fitting United Fire Brigade Association president James Walker, of Wyndham, presented him the accolade.
“James was one of the ones that actually got me along to join up,” Mr Kitto said.
Receiving the honour meant the world to him.
“It’s something that I strived for on the first night that I joined Wyndham.
“My father’s reaction to me getting to that achievement was quite impressive-he was very proud of me.”
Transitioning from Wyndham to Gore was eye-opening due to the brigade’s demand.
“Going from 25 to 50 callouts a year, to 200 to 250-it was a major step up.”
He has witnessed big upgrades and developments throughout the years.
“The uniform change was the major thing, the gear wasn’t as nice. It was sort of plastic yellow leggings and black woollen bunker coats to the gear we’ve got now. And the training has just gone to the next level-really good training.”
He has relished every second he has been involved with serving the brigade.
“It’s helping the community in the role as a fireman and the camaraderie.”
He was grateful to his employer, Gore Home Improvement, for supporting him with the brigade.
“Aaron has shown a great dedication to the brigade and community for the last 20 years with his leadership,” Chief Fire Officer Steve Lee said.