This article first appeared in The Australian newspaper on Monday 18 January 2021.

A high-powered job in a bank can be stressful, but last summer a day in the office proved a refuge for Scott Hart, a volunteer firefighter who spent months battling the devastating fires in NSW.

Mr Hart, the customer relationship manager at the Braidwood Community Bank, part of the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, spent only 16 days in the office between November 2019 and February 2020. The rest of those months he worked as a captain with the NSW Rural Fire Service, fighting fires in Grafton, Lake Macquarie and later at home in Braidwood, about 90km from Canberra.