It was almost an accident that Vic Gunther even joined the Boggabri SES, but now she's been named its commander - and it's a title she wears with great pride after her grandfather first filled the role.
Ms Gunther said she initially didn't think she could even sign up, due to having a bone condition.
But last month she took over the top job from Geoff Eather, saying she hoped to make him, her grandfather and her "wonderful little community of Boggabri" proud.
Ms Gunther's partner encouraged her to attend a meeting in 2017 when locals were trying to build up the unit again after a lack of numbers put it at risk of folding for good.
"I have rheumatoid arthritis - I got it quite young and had numerous joint replacements - and I didn't think I was able to do anything, but it was quite the opposite, actually," she said.
"They said there were plenty of roles for me to do ... The rest is history."
After 12 months as a member she became deputy commander, and now is responsible for the roughly 15 volunteers: ensuring the unit is trained, safe, organised and well-staffed.
She said some of the unit's most important work was helping people in road crashes, flood rescues and land searches.
And with people's lives in their hands, it was vital they "never finish learning".
Members train every Tuesday at 6.30pm and more were always welcome.
"It's wonderful; it makes you feel like a better person ... it gets into your blood," Ms Gunther said.
"I love the people and meeting all the different units, and just helping people.
"People are more resilient than they think they are."
- For more information on becoming a member, call 0447 342 238 or visit ses.nsw.gov.au/volunteer/