Earlier this year Australia experienced its worst bushfire season to date. The amount of lives, homes and wildlife lost and injured was unprecedented.

Several people from within Swire MLI’s Kalari and HSE divisions attended as volunteer firefighters to help contain the spread including Driver Trainer Nick Ferguson.

A volunteer for more than six years, Nick was deployed as Crew Leader, overseeing four others tackling blazes across Kangaroo Island in South Australia.

His task was to help farmers protect their properties by controlling embers and preventing the spread of fire caused by heat contained in the roots of vegetation. While deployed Nick also helped save the local pub from the threat of a fire burning adjacent to the property.

Attending these scenes can be quite emotionally taxing for volunteers. “I’d be crazy if I said I didn’t have moments that got to me, like seeing the affected wildlife. In transit you’ll see a koala on the side of the road, singed and looking around how their world has changed” Nick says.

Despite this, Nick says there was nothing quite like the interaction with the farmers and people he was called on to help. “There’s something about giving freely without expecting anything in return that’s quite liberating”.