The captain of Griffith's Fire and Rescue station is hanging up his helmet for the last time after 40 years of service.
Kevin Roth has spent 40 years and four months with Fire and Rescue NSW, originally joining the Gulgong station on May 1979 when the service was then known as the NSW Fire Brigade.
Mr Roth said he never intended to work for the service as long as he did, but he would jump at the chance to do it all again.
"My ambition was never 40 years - it was probably about 25 [or] 30 - but I just kept going," Mr Roth said.
"It's not like as though I got halfway through my career and I had to retire, I've done what I wanted to do.
"I'd do it all again."
Mr Roth spent 25 years with the Gulgong station, taking charge as captain for 11 years before moving on to the Griffith station in 2004.
During his 15 years in Griffith, he has spent eight years as captain.
Mr Roth said the technological advances seen during his time with the service has meant firefighters are safer now than ever before.
He said in particular the introduction of breathing apparatuses allowed for firefighters to tackle situations they previously would have been unable to.
"We always thought it was just something else to put on the truck," he said.
"We used to go into the houses them days when you had a house fire with a handkerchief over your nose and the hose in the other hand.
"The next day after we got it, we had a bedroom fire... the acrid smoke - we never would have been able to get into the house."
Mr Roth said even the fire trucks themselves have seen great advancement during his time with the service.
"What we had them days when I first joined up... was an open top Bedford [truck]," he said.
"We used to sit up on top.
"It was alright going to the fire, but when you come back wet in the middle of winter, well, you didn't step off, you fell off!"
Mr Roth said he plans to take his retirement easy, but aims to keep in touch with the station.
"I've got a workshop at home - I do a bit of wood turning and furniture restoring - just basically take it easy," he said.
"I've had a wonderful career, met wonderful people made a lot of lasting friendships.
"I'll poke my head in the door and annoy them every now and then."
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