You might rightly think Ross Leonard is a hero, but he swears he's not.
The fire fighting veteran insists he's just an ordinary bloke whose undergone training that gives him the skills to pitch in when an emergency strikes.
He's partially right of course, in the oh-so-understated way that usually epitomises courageous acts in the face of danger.
Like fellow members of the Austinmer Fire Brigade, he's put his life on hold in recent weeks to join thousands of other volunteers gearing up to protect the lives and property of people he does not know.
Austinmer, along with several other Illawarra crews, have been tasked to fires throughout the state since September, often spending days at a time away from their loved ones.
In the past two weeks, their efforts have been concentrated on the blaze threatening The Oaks, near Camden.
Ross admits he's never seen anything like it before.
"I've been in the RFS for 35 years and some of these fires have been fires that I haven't come across before," he said.
"It's been really unprecedented, just the activity and the aggressive nature of the fire."
Despite authorities bombarding residents with almost daily messages urging them to "be prepared", Ross fears it will be complacency that causes the biggest issue in the Illawarra if fire strikes.
"We keep saying you need to make a plan, get your bushfire survival plan in place - we don't say it for no reason at all," he said.
"There's a very good possibility we could be in the same situation as other communities have found themselves in...we have the same potential for fires like that to happen in the Illawarra from the north to the south."
If disaster does come knocking, among the first lining up for a spot on either of Austinmer's two trucks will be father and daughter duo John and Amelia Hatch.
At 18 and just out of high school, Amelia is the brigade's youngest member.
It was her joining a year ago that inspired John to sign up too, and the pair are preparing for their first fire season.
"I'm a bit nervous, this will be my first big fire," Amelia said.
John is also anticipating his first deployment, but knows he's in expert hands with Ross and the rest of the Austi crew, made up of a diverse range of people from all walks of life.
"We've got nurses, truck drivers, line markers, so we've got a big, diverse range of people so we can draw on their skills and experience that collectively makes us better of as a group," Ross said.
"No one is above anyone else in the brigade, we all have our own skills we contribute."