You could say genetics were a major influence for Brooke Dent when it came to choosing a career.
Walking in the footsteps of her father, grandfather and great-grandfather, the Helensburgh woman this month became the fourth generation of her family to join the firefighters.
She ranks her emotional graduation day as one of the proudest moments in her young life, not least because her dad, Wollongong firefighter Mick Dent, played such a vital role in her success.
"He and pop came up and gave me my certificate with the commissioner, it was a really good day," she said.
"Dad's been really supportive and encouraging the whole time, I'm very lucky."
It has been a long journey from a career in childcare to fighting fires and rescuing people in their hour of need.
Ms Dent unsuccessfully applied to join Fire and Rescue NSW at the age of 19 but now says she is glad she didn't make the cut.
"I've sort of had that time to grow up a little bit more and get some life experience," she said.
Now two years later, a little older and wiser, Ms Dent has survived the arduous selection process and gruelling 13-week training course to reach her ultimate goal.
Ms Dent was one of just six females in her class of 24, and she said the trainers certainly didn't take a soft approach when it came to women.
A background in competitive rowing and surf lifesaving meant the 21-year-old athlete was well-prepared for such a physically demanding job.
But she says none of it would have been possible without her family, and particularly her dad. As a child Ms Dent said she often visited her dad's station.
"I always said from a little girl I wanted to be a firefighter like my dad," she said.
She is posted to Chester Hill.