Giving back to the community is reward in itself, according to two award-winning firefighters.
Aaron Broderick, 28, was named Warrnambool's volunteer firefighter of the year, while Aaron Hume, 27, was presented with an encouragement award.
The two were humble about their wins, which were announced at a presentation night on Saturday.
"It means a lot," Mr Broderick said. "It's recognition for the effort that you put in during the year."
Mr Broderick said he always knew he wanted to be a volunteer firefighter, following in the footsteps of his father Graeme, who is a member of the Woolsthorpe brigade.
He said he loved meeting people from all walks of life.
"I was surprised to win - there are a lot of other people who deserve it as well," Mr Broderick said.
The cabinet maker has attended a number of fires in 2019, including a house fire and a few grass fires.
He joked he was now used to his pager going off at all hours of the night.
"It could be two o'clock in the morning and we could be running out the door," Mr Broderick said.
He said he was more than happy to give back to such a great community.
"Warrnambool is such a great place to live - what I can do to help, I will," Mr Broderick said.
Mr Hume said he was stunned to hear his name read out at the awards ceremony.
"I wasn't expecting it," he said.
Mr Hume said he joined after attending an information session about five years ago.
It is one of the best decisions he has ever made.
"It's become a passion of mine," Mr Hume said.
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