Twenty-four emergency services workers from all walks of life made up the finalists for the 2019 Rotary Clubs and Districts of NSW Emergency Services Community Awards, and three of them work within the Inverell region.
Finalists represented each of Fire and Rescue NSW, NSW Ambulance, NSW State Emergency Services, NSW Rural Fire Service, NSW Volunteer Rescue Association and Marine Rescue NSW.
Paramedic Ben Tory works from Ashford Ambulance Station, Leonie Cox from Tingha SES and Frank Fleming from Inverell VRA were finalists in this year's event, and will attend the presentation dinner at the Bankstown Sports Club where winners will be announced.
Ben thought Rotary was doing an amazing job at identifying emergency service workers who were going "above and beyond".
"I am very thankful, although I don't feel I'm as deserving as some of the others up there," he said.
"I'm a paramedic. Most people who are in this role are in it to help people when they are most in need. I do think all of our emergency services are doing an absolutely fantastic job.
"I personally feel that I don't deserve to be in the finalists, but I do appreciate that someone has taken the time to nominate me for the awards."
Ben said having read what someone had written about him, he had some idea who had nominated him. He believed it came from a good Samaritan act involving an 18-year-old, a flat tyre and no spare.
A Sydneysider, Ben makes the drive to Ashford every second week to work and has been doing that for about three years.
"I have made some really good friends up here. I've gotten involved with the SES up here, an I've seen that develop and grow," he said.
"I've seen my SES unit more than triple in size, and that's quite an achievement for the community, I think."
Minister for Emergency Services David Elliott said emergency services workers and volunteers gave a great deal of themselves to their communities, and asked little in return.
"We are indebted to all our unsung heroes and will never take for granted their commitment to protecting the community," he said.
"These awards honour everyday Australians who have given decades of service, and this year's finalists have almost five centuries' combined service and I thank them all for their exemplary efforts."
In addition, the emergency services Commissioners will each nominate an outstanding individual for the $1000 Dorothy Hennessy OAM Emergency Services Youth Scholarship to be decided by a Rotary NSW panel.