What will you be doing when you’re 70? For most people, the answer probably isn’t fighting fires.
But for 71-year-old John Foster, retirement was just the start of a brave new venture.
Foster and the rest of his six-member team from Woodgate Rural Fire Brigade are battling a fierce bushfire in Australia — and they’re all over the age of 70.
“Some call us Dad’s Army. We don’t mind,” Foster said in a Facebook post Thursday.
The team of septuagenarians includes John, Keith, Ray, Glenda, Noel and Henk.
“Let’s say we are all between 70 and 74. We do this because we believe, I guess, in supporting the community,” Foster told CNN on Friday.
“We are part of a much wider effort involving many members of the Fire Brigade and other Brigades from our local area and now a team from New Zealand.”
Australia is reeling from deadly bushfires, with more than 1,300 firefighters battling flames that have ravaged the states of Queensland and New South Wales this past month.
Four people have died in this year’s blazes, which have been exacerbated by hot, dry weather.
Foster’s team of volunteers is focusing on a bushfire in Woodgate, Queensland. The team has been battling the blaze for more than two days now, helping to protect a community of around 1,000 people.
“We’re mainly extinguishing them – we only cover bushfires – we are one of many (volunteer brigades) in Queensland,” he said.
Foster decided to take a photo when they were out and realized they were all over the age of 70.
But what prompted him to join up as a firefighter?
Put simply, he wanted to make friends and support his local community.
“When I moved to the country from a city a friend said if you want to meet people join the local Rural Fire Brigade – so I did. It’s community support and they are all over Queensland.”
Foster told CNN he is likely to be working to extinguish the fire for a few more days and described it as tiring work.
“I’m getting tired now and am heading to bed — we have a couple more days to run with this fire.”