"THEY are just like a second family".
That is the way volunteer David Pateman describes the Bendigo SES unit.
Mr Pateman joined the unit at the start of the year and said his highlight so far was the comradeship formed between the volunteers.
"They're a good bunch of people," he said.
"We all work together as team- it's like my second family.
"The bond you form with each other is amazing.
"Everyone is there for everyone else."
Mr Pateman said his role involved attending car crashes, helping search for missing people and offering support during natural disasters.
He said the work was demanding, but rewarding.
"I would encourage people to volunteer, providing they have a bit of time," he said.
"Sometimes you have to drop everything and go."