As New South Wales Ambulance celebrates 40 years of female paramedics in active service, two locals with more than 25 years experience between them reflect on the milestone.
Both Peta Kentwell and Katherine Penberthy agree the ratio of female to male paramedics has increased, even in the last 15 years, they've encouraged more women to think about it as a future career.
Fast-forward to today and Inverell's station sits a perfect 50/50 ratio of male and female staff members providing a vital service to the district.
Although they both agreed the role came with challenges, the incredible rewards and positive outcomes outweighed any negatives.
Peta was always interested in the medical field and was looking for a career where she could help her community. More than 16 years ago she became a paramedic.
"It was something that would be a bit of a challenge and I knew each day would be different," she said.
Katherine had similar reasons of why she became a paramedics almost 10 years ago now. "It wasn't a regular nine to five job."
The duo agreed a work-life balance was difficult when working shifts as a rural paramedic- both with young children and families at home.
"But it's good to be able to make a difference in someone's life. We come in at their worst time of their life, or day, and help them out. We can relieve them of the pain or stress they're having."
When Peta joined NSW Ambulance 16 years ago, she was the only female on station.
"I've worked at many stations where I'm the only female but now, in 2019, it's very different. Universities are taking higher percentages of females than males in the course now and that follows through with students who have ride-alongs with us," she said.
Katherine agreed, saying she'd worked with a lot more females since starting her career but noticed the strong female recruits being put through the system.
"There's also a lot more females rising up the chain in management and education roles with NSW Ambulance."
With more than a few years on their belts, both paramedics spoke of the many other changes they'd noticed.
"Our equipment is definitely better. Now we're able to provide patients with more pain management and we are more skilled to assist.
"There were lots of aspects only available to patients once they arrived to hospital but we can do a lot more from people's homes now," she said.