As far as job satisfaction goes, cutting someone out of a car wreck and saving their life is almost as good as it gets.
For Leading Senior Constable Ron Loughlin, it was that feeling that stood out during his 30 years as an officer with the NSW Police Force.
"It's just the feeling of knowing you're able to help someone," he said.
Yesterday, a ceremony was held for the retiring officer at Wollongong police station.
As a general duties and part-time rescue police officer, Snr Const Loughlin often found himself in the thick of high-intensity emergency operations.
During the ceremony, special mention was made of an incident in Figtree in 1999, when he successfully negotiated with a mentally ill man who was threatening his parents with knives and was believed to be in possession of firearms.
Despite not being a trained negotiator, Snr Const Loughlin diffused the situation and "averted a potentially dangerous siege".
He was later awarded a region citation for his actions.
Snr Const Loughlin wasn't the only member of the Illawarra's thin blue line to depart the force yesterday, with Detective Inspector Dennis Clarke coming to the end of his 40-year career.
Insp Clarke said looking back across four decades, it was the bizarre and humorous jobs that first sprang to mind.
"There was an offender from Dapto - we charged him with bestiality relating to a horse," Insp Clarke said.
"While we might think it's funny, the young girl who owned the horse, she witnessed it and was fairly traumatised, so we had to take it seriously."
Insp Clarke said there had been significant changes to the police force since he started, particularly related to how officers dealt with traumatic jobs.
"Many years ago, it was a beer after work to debrief," he said. "It's not so much like that today because we do have better mechanisms to deal with welfare aspects."