It will be a golden weekend for two of Gore’s most dedicated firefighters.
Station officer Darren Hewlett and firefighter Lindsay Young will be presented with gold star awards for their 25 years of service to the Gore Volunteer Fire Brigade.
As well as the gold stars, both men will be given statuettes from Fire and Emergency Services New Zealand for their contribution.
They will also be made life members of the brigade at the presentation on Saturday.
Mr Hewlett and Mr Young were humble about their accomplishments.
The pair grew up in Gore and joined the brigade in 1994 to support their community.
Mr Hewlett was persuaded to join after some of the members told him he had to.
“I really enjoyed it and helping the community.
“It’s every little boy’s dream to be a firefighter,” he said.
He became a station officer about eight years ago and was in charge of one of the teams.
Mr Young wanted to volunteer in the community and felt the brigade was a good way to show his support.
“It attracted my eye and the enjoyment of it and the camaraderie has been great.”
They had seen everything from fires, crashes and awful weather conditions through their 25 years but two jobs stuck out in their minds.
“We had a big freeze in 1997 and we had more than 30 calls in about 3-4 days. It was chaotic with lots of broken and burst pipes,” Mr Hewlett said.
“There was a huge fire at PVC Plastics in my first year,” Mr Young said.
“That was my first big big fire.”
The brigade was on edge during the time of the arsons in the early 2000s as well, Mr Hewlett said.
The pair had seen many officers come and go and several changes to the brigade over their 25 years, but none more so than their training.
“The training has got further for everyone, we’re held more accountable, which is really good. We’re training all the time,” Mr Hewlett said.
Chief fire officer Steve Lee said it was a wonderful occasion for both men.
“They’ve made a significant contribution to the brigade over the years. The brigade appreciates them greatly,” Mr Lee said.