Shirley Heap is a volunteer rescue operator with Armidale's State Emergency Services (SES) Unit and a NSW Paramedic Intern.
What makes her unique though, is she is only in her 20s, as volunteering is something we associate more with older generations.
This week is National Youth Week, which celebrates the contribution young people aged 12-25 make to the community.
"I've learnt to much in the SES - not just practical things - but also leadership and teamwork skills," Shirley said.
"All excellent life skills I wouldn't be where I am without."
Joining Armidale's SES unit straight out of school, Shirley said it was seeing disaster strike while she was a teenager, which made her sign up to be a volunteer with the emergency rescue squad.
"I remember a couple years earlier there was a lot of flooding across the state and every time I turned on the news there was orange everywhere. I thought it looked like an interesting way to be helpful."
She is now a Paramedic Intern with NSW Ambulance as well and says that volunteering with NSW SES made her realise she wanted to help people for a living.
"It was in the SES I realised I enjoyed working in emergency service, so I decided to apply for NSW Ambulance and become a paramedic."
Shirley is now working with NSW Ambulance in Western Sydney and is a fully qualified NSW SES trainer.
"I travel back to Armidale to train courses and go out on call outs on my days off. I'm also looking at joining up with a unit in Western Sydney when my work schedule slows down."
I consider my unit in Armidale an extended family.Shirley Heap
"I consider my unit in Armidale an extended family.
"Not to mention that there is always something new to learn, a new skill to master, a new opportunity."
Shirley says she has learnt much more in the NSW SES than just practical skills like using a chainsaw or cutting up a car.
"No matter what your career path or situation, you have something to offer the SES and they have something to offer you."