Deputy captain Elizabeth Ellis from Burrawang RFS and senior deputy captain Lesley Wood from the Mandemar-Wingecarribee Brigade have been awarded the Commissioner's Certificate of Commendation for their efforts in Wytaliba's 2019 fires.
The pair were on deployment as community liaison officers to Glen Innes, when they were sent to Wytaliba on November 8, 2019, following a fire that swept through the New England town.
Many residents had been evacuated, but many stayed behind and sustained injuries.
Dr Ellis and Mrs Wood were sent to a burnt valley, where a casualty was reported to be seeking treatment.
Mrs Wood explained that a man had carried the woman out of the fire, and did not want to leave her side.
"He was just distraught and devastated," she said.
"I gave him water and we sat and chatted for a bit."
"My heart broke for him because of what he had seen."
Dr Ellis provided firefighter breathing apparatus to ensure the woman had oxygen, covered her in a space blanket and comforted her for close to an hour while they waited for an ambulance to come down the hill.
Unfortunately, the casualty passed away the next day due to severe and extensive burns.
Dr Ellis said she is "devastated" by the loss, but also remembers those who survived.
"Forty people were saved that night - they did leave the village," she said.
Dr Ellis said she had "very mixed feelings" about receiving the award.
"I am keeping things in perspective," she said.
"People have lost their lives, and have worked their guts off over the summer.
"It was what we're asked to do, and we did it."
Mrs Wood expressed similar sentiment and admitted she was "surprised" about the recognition.
"I was just doing my thing," she said.
"Our contribution was part of a team contribution."
She will receive her 10 year long service medal this year.
Mrs Wood has been fighting fires for over 20 years.
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