Bex Baddeley was once the only woman in a team of firefighters, but now the expectant mum is the first female chief of her Kumeu station.
Baddeley got her foot in the door joining as a volunteer firefighter in Onerahi, a seaside suburb in Whangarei, in 2004.
She was the only woman on the team but "didn't think anything of it".
"All of a sudden you have 20 other brothers, dads, uncles sort of thing," she said.
That family had always been an "amazing support" throughout her career, she added.
A big drawcard for her was the physical work outdoors, but her motivation can be put down to the simple things in life too.
"It's just being able to do something to give back, and who doesn't like riding a big red fire truck really?"
Baddeley was made a station officer at Kumeu, just north-west of Auckland, in 2016 before she was appointed chief fire officer at the end last year.
"I am Kumeu's first female chief," she proudly said.
"Kumeu is one of New Zealand's busiest [areas] for volunteer fire brigades."
The 34-year-old called the top nod a privilege for anyone but said the fact that it was a first did make the personal accomplishment feel more special.
The soon-to-be mum also works as a fire investigator in her role as a senior fire risk management officer based in central Auckland.
She has always enjoyed challenging the idea of "what girls could or could not do", she said.
"We are always keen for more women to join. We welcome people from all different backgrounds."
It was important to have a diverse team, to include different skills and attitudes, she said.
"That's when teams work really well together when you have differences."
She said her team of 30 in Kumeu were from "all walks of life" but only a handful were women.
"I might be driving the truck and you get second glances," she said.
"I think just being visible is really important.
"So that other people can see that they can do it too."