In an unprecedented summer that saw homes threatened and people evacuated from danger, they were the ones that raced towards it.
The people who protected Canberra during this summer's bushfire crisis have been honoured with one of the ACT's highest accolades.
Every member of the ACT Emergency Services Agency and ACT Parks and Conservation has been named Canberra Citizens of the Year for 2020.
The collective award recognises the effort and cooperation of crews during the bushfires, both interstate on the NSW South Coast and in the ACT when the Orroral Valley blaze threatened lives and properties.
That fire, which was started by a landing light on a defence helicopter, destroyed more than a third of the ACT and 80 per cent of the Namadgi National Park.
"Canberrans are proud of the bravery and commitment shown by the members in serving our community," the award's citation read.
ACT Emergency Services Agency commissioner Georgeina Whelan said she was honoured by the recognition for fire crews.
"I'm so proud of the commitment, integrity and determination that every single individual within our whole team displayed during summer," Ms Whelan said.
"This incredible team, of staff and volunteers across the Emergency Services Agency and ACT Parks and Conservation worked together as a team of teams to ensure the safety of Canberra.
"It was a true representation of us working together to care and protect Canberra."
The accolade is not the first time the territory's fire crews have been awarded citizen of the year.
ACT firefighters were named citizen of the year in 1985 following a horror bushfire season.
The whole Canberra community was recognised in the 2003 honours following the devastating bushfires that year, which killed four people.
The Canberra community has been invited to show its thanks to the ACT fire crews during several events across the Canberra Day long weekend.
Representatives of the Emergency Services Agency will accept the award at a ceremony at John Dunmore Lang Place in Parkes at 6pm on Canberra Day.
Several appreciation stations will be set up across Canberra on Saturday to allow residents to write messages of thanks to firefighters.
A volunteer family picnic is planned for April 4 at Tuggeranong Town Park to celebrate the achievements of fire crews.