It was a feeling of helplessness when she came across a serious accident in 1979 that lead to Helen Harris wanting to learn first aid.
Since then, she's always kept up her skills. An encounter with the St John Ambulance in 1998 led her to take her first aid skills even further.
Ms Harris was at an inline skating carnival in Tamworth where St John members were providing first aid.
"We got talking and they encouraged me to join. With the standard reply of 'I don't really have time', they told me I only had to give 60 hours a year, which isn't really much and suggested I try it," she said.
Since then, Ms Harris has given hundreds of hours and says she's enjoyed them all.
ALSO MAKING NEWS:
National Volunteer Week runs from May 18 to 24. It's a week to celebrate those like Ms Harris who generously give their time.
The St John Ambulance volunteer said she loved being able to give back to the community.
"At times I have needed help, and it's been reassuring when someone who knows what they are doing is there for me. In turn, if I can do that for others, it makes it all worthwhile," Ms Harris said.
She started int he Tamworth division in 1998 and transferred to the Dubbo division in 2007. When it folded in 2011, she had a few years off but missed it so much she joined the nearby Wellington team.
Now, there's a combined Orana division.
Ms Harris said she had learnt so much and felt confident in her ability to help others. She said the respect she was given was humbling and it's provided her with a chance to meet so many wonderful people from around the world.
While she remembers a lot of the big events - such as watching the Sydney Olympics' closing ceremony fireworks from the Opera House forecourt - the smaller moments have also made an impression.
"[There was] a lady in a supermarket who came up to me to tell me about her first experience at an incident where she felt confident enough to to render first aid - and she knew what to do," Ms Harris said.
"All thanks, apparently, to her attending one of my volunteer first aid courses.
"I had forgotten about it, but obviously they hadn't. Very humbling."
Another memorable event was the first time she had an unresponsive, not-breathing patient. Ms Harris said she was able to "get her going again".
Those rewarding moments are why she thinks more people should volunteer. Ms Harris said she had not only had some incredible experiences and learnt so much, but she felt like part of an extended family.
"I would encourage everyone to think about volunteering in whatever role, with whatever organisation they feel comfortable," Ms Harris said.
"You never know who you will meet or what will happen, or how it will help you in the future.
"I'm certainly not ready to retire from volunteering yet."