BENDIGO fire brigades acknowledged the close bonds of friendships forged volunteering together on International Day of Friendship.
Bridie Dwyer and Tameeka Cann formed their friendship through the Country Fire Authority as teenagers.
Both have been involved with the CFA for 10-11 years, first joining as junior members.
Ms Dwyer is a member of the Eaglehawk Brigade, while Ms Cann is a member of Huntly.
Both say the nature of friendship with other CFA members is different to that with their other friends.
Neither of the pair were Bendigo born, but both joined brigades when they moved to the city.
Ms Cann said joining a new brigade wasn't daunting at all, because it was like a family.
"You're there for the same reasons," she said.
"The minute you walk in everyone's so friendly, and everyone's so happy. You're all there for the same reasons, so there's no conflict."
Ms Cann moved to Bendigo in April last year, and is now studying a Bachelor of Health Science, with plans to transfer to paramedicine.
She said her time with the CFA had definitely led her into plans to become a paramedic.
Like Ms Cann, Ms Dwyer is pursuing a career in healthcare, in her final year of a Bachelor of Nursing at LaTrobe University.
Having grown up in the Echuca Brigade, it was hard to join a new group. But she's found it really good coming across, saying the CFA is something you learn to love a lot.
Both Ms Cann and Ms Dwyer say the friendships they've formed within the brigade are different to those outside.
For Ms Cann the high stress experiences shared build a deep level of comfort and understanding in relationships.
Read more: Global accolade for Bendigo restaurant
"The relationships that you do make in the service, and any other emergency service, they're a different kind of friendship, it's a different kind of comfort. You immediately know you are family," she said.
It's similar for Ms Dwyer. She stayed part of the CFA as an adult because she'd grown up in it, like a family.
"They're family. They're bonds that mean you can support each other all the time," she said.
"They're always easygoing, but then you've always got leadership, you've got people who can direct you and give you feedback. There's all different kinds of people in the CFA."
International Day of Friendship aims to share the human spirit, and promote peace, through friendship. It took place on Thursday.
Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria.