Lisa is truly inspirational
THE Rural Fire Service Association's 2013 Member of the Year, East Ballina's Lisa Edmonds, is adamant she was just doing her job.
If so, the administrative officer must have done it spectacularly, with her colleagues describing her as "inspirational".
Mrs Edmonds has volunteered for the association since 2009 and worked for the NSW Rural Fire Service since 2003.
"I have nothing but great admiration and respect for our volunteer firefighters," she said.
"The work they do under trying circumstances is amazing.
"I feel really honoured and humbled by the vote of confidence in me and in my wildest dreams I didn't think this would happen."
Mrs Edmonds, who volunteers at the Northern Rivers Zone Fire Control Centre, was shocked to be presented with the award at the association's Annual General Meeting on June 21 at Parramatta
"I'm befuddled because I was just doing my job," the secretary and treasurer for association Division 1 said.
"I was invited to the awards with my husband and I thought maybe I'd be presented with a certificate or something.
"When he (chief executive Bernard Cox) called my name out I was like 'oh my goodness' - I was in shock.
"It really affirmed that the service I'm doing is making a difference to the volunteers."
Mrs Edmonds said she joined the association because she "had a soft spot for the volunteers", who would often regale her with their "war stories" of hard-fought battles on the front line.
"I looked into it and my interest grew," she said.
"The association and volunteers work hand in glove."
Mrs Edmonds said she was proud to offer background and logistical support to local firefighters.
The association supports volunteers in many ways, including a grants program, sponsorship of training exercises, education scholarships, Volunteers' Family Days, counselling and family assistance.