VIDEO footage emerging of a community congregating at its local fire station on Tuesday evening to show its appreciation to on-call firefighters was a touching tribute to these men and women who put their lives on the line to serve the areas they live and work in.

The on-call (retained, part-time, call them what you will) firefighters across Northumberland are farmers, butchers, shop workers; civilians just like you and I.

However, these extraordinary people fit protecting and rescuing people around their busy work lives and family commitments.

The on-call crew at Allendale Community Fire Station (notice the emphasis on Community) dealt with an increased number of call-outs at the weekend, attending a total of seven fires between Friday and Monday.

They were part of the huge ensemble of firefighters which tackled a huge blaze which engulfed 20 acres of plantation at Haydon Bridge on Sunday evening.

Just over 24 hours earlier, they were joined by their colleagues from nearby Haltwhistle and Hexham to quickly extinguish a house fire which broke out in Allendale's Market Place.

Without these people being on call to respond to such major incidents, the consequences could be much more severe.

These on-call firefighters are our communities' unsung heroes, dropping everything at a moment's notice to ensure the safety of people living among them, people they may go to the pub with or work with on a full-time basis.

The wild applause and cheers directed their way on Tuesday evening showed just what a difference these people make in their villages and towns, and just how greatly appreciated they are.

As with many community stations throughout the county, Allendale is currently recruiting on-call firefighters.

You too could be a hero if you are able to help out.