No matter the emergency - a destructive storm, the bushfire crisis or a road accident - there are a group of volunteers who pull on bright orange suits to assist.
There are many stories to be told about the region's many hard working volunteers this National Volunteer Week, but this Wednesday, the spotlight is on the State Emergency Service.
May 20 marks Wear Orange Wednesday (WOW day), a national day of recognition for SES volunteers.
Landmarks across the state will be lit up in orange, including the Lake Wendouree fountain.
In what is likely to have been the second busiest year for volunteers across the state, volunteers in the mid-west region responded to 1906 requests for assistance during the past 12 months.
Almost 800 of these calls were in Ballarat, followed by more than 250 in Hepburn Shire and just over 200 in Bacchus Marsh.
In the last 12 months, the region's volunteers have responded to 1148 fallen trees, 300 requests for assistance due to building damage, have assisted police 90 times and responded to 85 calls for assistance due to flooding.
For Ballarat unit controller David Wellings, volunteering with the SES is a way to play a role in the community and to make a positive difference.
As Ballarat has both urban and rural elements, most of the jobs volunteers are called to assist with are building damage or traffic hazards such as fallen trees.
You get to experience a great deal in the community. Unfortunately it's sometimes when things are hardest, but that's the time you can make the most difference.David Wellings
They also assist other agencies such as with police searches, by supplying lighting during an accident and assisting Ambulance Victoria with extracting injured people from vehicles after a crash.
During his 15 years as a SES volunteer, Mr Wellings has attended an array of incidents. His first major incident was the bushfires at Kinglake and since then he has assisted during the 2010 and 2011 floods, has travelled interstate to the Lismore floods and assisted with the recovery after Cyclone Yasi.
"It's not only the major incidents, but also the smaller events we respond to," he said.
"It might be a search for a local missing person or attending damage to someone's house after a storm - those really make a huge difference.
"They are our core work and are probably the most gratifying where you see the immediate results of your efforts."
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During his time with the SES he has gained an enormous amount of experience and has learnt a wide range of skills.
He has also travelled to many other communities to assist during a time of emergency.
"You get to experience a great deal in the community. Unfortunately it's sometimes when things are hardest, but that's the time you can make the most difference," Mr Wellings said.
On average, SES volunteers log about 10-14 hours of work each week including regular training and responding to emergencies, but it varies for everyone.
Mr Wellings enjoys volunteering as it is a way for him to be around like-minded people in the community who are similarly motivated and have the same set of values.
"I believe good people make good volunteers," he said. "In all volunteer organisations you're around good people."
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