Overwhelming gratitude from Queenslanders.

That's how Taupō fireman Roger Nelson describes the reactions of people he met on a recent stint fighting bush fires in Australia. Crew leader of a three-man strike team, the Taupō deputy principal rural fire officer and strike team mates would go into town after work, wearing their Fire and Emergency New Zealand T-shirts.

"The local people in Gympie and Bundaberg were very grateful and thankful. People would come up to us and shake our hands and want to shout us coffee. We had chats with people all over