EXTREME SPORT: Professional bullrider Lane Howlett will take on the bucking bulls at the Xtreme Bulls Professional Bull Riding Pro Tour Finals in Tamworth. Photo: Peter Hardin 091219PHC032
GIVEN the choice between a bushfire battle or eight seconds on the back of a bucking bull, Tamworth Rural Fire Service superintendent Allyn Purkiss knows what he'd prefer.
Volunteer crews from across the state will have the opportunity to join him in the audience with a donation of 1000 seats to the Xtreme Bulls Professional Bull Riding Pro Tour Finals.
"For the last three or four months they've been going at it absolutely flat-out, so any time off would be very appreciated," Mr Purkiss said.
"Certainly they've had enough, they're sick of it.
"It was a surprise when we got the phone call but the support from throughout NSW and all communities from all walks of life has just been amazing."
A tough bushfire season last year and the horrific fires still burning across the state mean crews haven't had a proper break in more than 12 months.
The Xtreme Bulls show will be a chance for firefighters to see some of Australia's best bucking bulls ridden by talented cowboys.
One to watch is Eye Candy, the 2018 Australian Professional Rodeo Association Bucking Bull of the Year.
Not one rider has managed to hold on for the eight seconds it takes to make a qualified ride.
Xtreme Bulls Australia chief executive Simon Creswell has wanted to bring the show to Tamworth for some time.
"We're all aware of the fires and what's been going on with that, the smoke that's outside today is incredible," he said.
"So to try and give back to the RFS is what we're about for this event.
"You've got to have heart and guts and try, it's a bit like professional aggressive sports like boxing - if you don't have that aggression, that passion and that want, you're not going to go far at all."
The show is on at AELEC on January 18.