LOCAL Victoria State Emergency Service volunteer Glyndia Gee has ushered in a new era for the Kerang unit.
She was installed as the unit's controller this week, succeeding Jamie Macri, who has stood down after six years in the role due to work commitments.
Mrs Gee, 68, was the first operational female member when she joined almost 20 years ago and has now been appointed as the unit's first female controller.
Her involvement with the VSES actually started back in 1986 when she supported her husband, Greg, and his fellow members by making sandwiches, selling raffle tickets for dolls that she had made and providing welfare support.
VSES assistant chief officer Mark Cattell said after installing Mrs Gee that about 40 of the service's 152 units were led by female controllers.
Mrs Gee was this year awarded the shire's senior citizen of the year award for her community work, particularly for organising fund-raising debutante balls over more than three decades.
She said that she is quite passionate about the value of the VSES and will work to bolster the unit's membership, particularly encouraging younger people to join.
"I am quite humbled to be chosen," she said.
"I am willing to keep on learning and I really believe in SES. I believe there is a lot of potential for us to grow, to continue to serve."
Mrs Gee described herself as "a goer" and was proud of the support she has from other members.
Since joining in March 1998, she has served the unit in the areas of welfare, occupational health and safety, catering and fund-raising.
Her VSES competencies include general rescue, road crash rescue, rooftop, storm and water damage, first aid, chainsaw work, hazardous materials and wildfire awareness, emergency operations centre experience, traffic management, urban search and rescue, emergency driving and use of operational communications and technology.
Mrs Gee is a recipient of the National Medal for 15 years' diligent service.