Joining the Country Fire Authority was a foregone conclusion for Kaye Blackburn.
The former Ararat woman grew up watching her father Derrick Austin be called to fight fires for the Westmere Fire Brigades Group, where he held the role of group officer for many years until his death in 1987.
Mrs Blackburn, who was the oldest of three girls, said they always joined their dad at roadside burns as young teens.
"That's the way you learnt to hold a hose in those days," she said.
"My father was group officer and it was just presumed that we would become volunteer members. It was a forgone conclusion, we just did it."
Mrs Blackburn joined the CFA in 1973, shortly after finishing high school, and became a communications officer 20 years later.
It's a role she still holds at the Woorndoo Fire Brigade today.
Mrs Blackburn runs the brigade's sub-base where volunteers conduct radio 'scheds' every day at 12.30pm during fire season.
Vital information, including weather conditions, is provided to the Westmere group's 18 fire brigades.
Mrs Blackburn said she always knew volunteering would be a big part of her life.
It's something she shares with her husband David, who is "very much a part of the CFA", previously holding the same role her father once did as the Westmere group officer for 12 years.
Mrs Blackburn said in their decades in the brigade the couple, who have been married for 43 years, had attended a number of big fires throughout the Grampians region.
"You just do these things and you don't think about it," she said.
The humble firefighter has received a Medal of the Order of Australia for services to the Ararat and district community.
When she's not at the Woorndoo sub-base she is serving on the board of the Lake Bolac Bush Nursing Centre, which she was elected to in 1997.
She was the centre's vice president for 15 years and is the current secretary and member of the community engagement committee.
Mrs Blackburn, who has a background in medical administration, said the centre was the only health service in the small town with visiting doctors and other practitioners.
"It's a vital part of the community," she said.
Mrs Blackburn has also been a member of the Lake Bolac Red Cross since 2003 after previously serving the Mount Shadwell branch.
She said was "staggered" when she found out about her award and at first didn't believe they had the right person.
"But when I saw the list (of service to her community) I thought 'well that is me'," she said.
"You just take things in your stride, you don't do it for recognition."
Mrs Blackburn was named Mary at birth but goes by her middle name Kaye.