Gerringong resident Malcolm Weir admitted to being blown away when he was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia.
Mr Weir received the award for services to the community of Gerringong, and especially for his role with the Gerringong Rural Fire Service, where he was brigade captain for 25 years, from 1969 to 1994.
Now 74, he is still an active member of the brigade.
"It blew me away and was very unexpected," he said.
"I think it's great for the bushfire brigade to be recognised.
"Voluntary service is very important to the district."
Mr Weir completed 50 years of service in 2012, first joining the Gerringong brigade under the direction of then captain Colin Chittick in 1962.
Since the 1950s he has also been involved in fund-raising.
"The brigade is not like other service organisations - you never know when you are going to be called up," he said.
"I've even had call-outs on Christmas Day, just as I sat down to dinner.
"You just do what you do for your community," he said.
He also paid credit to his wife Gay for her support.