Fighters don a yellow ribbon
MICHAEL Adamik's burning passion keeps him going through the tough times and the deadly ones.
The Gympie firefighter is among the 2070 Rural Fire Brigade Association Queensland Fraser Coast region volunteers who put their lives on the line every time there's a natural disaster in the region.
Today he will help raise awareness of the volunteers' effort by donning a yellow ribbon.
A volunteer with about seven years' experience under his belt, the 32-year-old said his wife and three young children supported him no matter the gruelling times he faced.
"My wife is very supportive and understanding of my line of work," Mr Adamik said.
"The kids show an interest in what I do and tell me they want to be firefighters too when they grow up.
"So the future looks bright for numbers of the rural fire brigades."
A volunteer since August, 2007, Mr Adamik said a trip to his letterbox led him down the firefighting path.
A flier informed him the brigade was in danger of closing due to a lack of volunteer numbers.
"I started as an entry level firefighter and over the years have worked up the ranks and am currently the brigade's first officer," Mr Adamik said.
"Being a firefighter is something that I've always wanted to do since graduating high school.
"Growing up in Brisbane and being a community-minded person, the SES was something I wanted to get involved in.
"However moving to a rural area and seeing first hand how dry the region was and the need for rural fire volunteers was in great demand. The answer was simple."
Mr Adamik juggles two jobs - one in fundraising and one in training - and his volunteer duties.
He said the hard yards were well worth the benefits.
"The best thing about being in a brigade is mateship and that sense of giving back," he said.
"You have an opportunity to extend your knowledge and education through courses and certificates.
"All you have to do is give some time.
"You have a chance of making a real difference to your local community."