Tracy Goldsmith has devoted her life to the fire service
WHEN Tracy Goldsmith was six years old, she was forced to crawl out of her family shed to escape a fire.
Tracy said this moment stayed with her, and she vowed to do what she could to prevent it from happening to others.
To this day, Tracy gives her life to the cause, volunteering 27 years to the South Nanango Rural Fire Service.
But she said the service gave so much to her in return.
"If it hadn't been for the fire service I don't know where I would be," she said.
After the death of her husband, first officer Brendon Goldsmith, Tracy said the firies rallied around her.
"When I'm having down moments, or angry moments, I don't know what I would do without them," she said. "But I also had to remember they were grieving too."
When her husband of 16 years collapsed suddenly at a South Nanango Rural Fire Brigade meeting in 2012, Tracy said she realised the true compassion of the Nanango community.
"I love Nanango and I love the people there, it's just an incredible town," she said. "I saw that when Brendon died."
The respected volunteer said she valued her work with the fire service and wanted to make a real difference.
"I've had a couple of friends burnt, and the last thing I ever want to see is a child burnt," she said.
"If I can stop one person from going through that, I've achieved something big."
The volunteer said her passion for the service filtered down to other family members too.
"I got Brendon into it and I got my dad back into it," she said.
"And my daughter Amber started as a junior at 16; she couldn't wait to get into it too."
Tracy was this week nominated for a Lifetime Contribution to Volunteering award for her commitment to the service.
Volunteering Queensland CEO Mara Basanovic said the award acknowledged her extraordinary and valuable work.
"These prestigious awards highlight and pay tribute to the caring individuals who inspire and epitomise the spirit of volunteerism through their compassion, commitment and hard work," she said.
Tracey was caught off guard by the nomination and described it as "mind blowing".
While she said it felt amazing to be appreciated, she said she did not do it for the recognition.
"It's my passion," she said. "I'll stop when I die, which I'm not planning on doing anytime soon."
Nominations for the awards close on March 31.
For more, email vanessa. codling@volunteeringqld. org.au.