"It was just insane."
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For Jason White that sentence sums up his experience at the Kerry Ridge fire near Rylstone - Kandos in January this year.
For his partner Rochene Platt it was the first fire that she'd ever attended, and it was an experience that she will never forget.
"It was a real eye-opener for me," she said. "The sound of the fire coming up the hill was like a jet engine.
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"It was an experience that I'll never forget."
The pair were two of the nine members of the small village brigade that were part of Strike Team West, volunteers that helped fight the fires that devastated NSW.
Those members spent between three to four days away fighting fires as other members held fort at home, fighting grass fires and other blazes that occurred around the tight-knit community.
In all 16 members received their NSW Premier's Bushfire Emergency Citation on Sunday and group captain Terry Brill said that everyone involved, from those that stayed and those that served away, deserve the citation.
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With stories flooding in of members of other brigades either dying or being injured, the stress is very real for those waiting for their return.
"For those at home they can go a long time not hearing from their family members because they'll be out in some remote location," he said.
"But the relief that those members gave the other brigades was amazing."
"At one point there was just one unit that was on a front line that stretched from Lithgow to Cullen Bullen.
"When our brigades turned up their spirits soared when they saw us."
Jason and Rochene said that they felt very honoured to have received the medal and certificate that came with the citation.
"It is a great honour to be recognised for what we've done and a big thank you to the state government, but it's not why we do it, we're part of a really great community here," Rochene said.
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