Finding aged care residents sheltering from bushfire without oxygen in a library is something Lisa Wilson will never forget in her 40 years of nursing.
At the peak of the summer crisis, she found elderly people suffering without air conditioning after being evacuated to Batemans Bay Library.
"Three of us went down in the middle of the night with cars and scooped them all up, brought them back and put them in recliner chairs with oxygen," Ms Wilson said.
"The thought of seeing all those elderly people lying on mattresses broke my heart."
Her role as Batemans Bay Hospital nurse manager during the fires and the COVID-19 pandemic has inspired her nomination for the Judith Meppem Leadership Award in this year's NSW Health nursing awards.
Ms Wilson said the whole Eurobodalla Health Service team, including Batemans Bay and Moruya Hospitals, was crucial.
On New Year's Eve, police escorted Moruya nurses up the highway to help in the Bay Emergency Department.
Staff enacted their fire plan, moved patients to one wing where possible, and ensured everyone had care.
Two families with young children, including a toddler, took refuge in the hospital's corridors.
Ms Wilson said the staff barely had time to recover before COVID-19 arrived and "changed our world".
She was part of the team organising extra hospital staff and setting up testing clinics when the Soldiers Club cluster was reported.
Organising patient transfers to Canberra or Moruya Hospitals was a huge role. She said the construction of the Eurobodalla Regional Hospital would be a great asset.
Ms Wilson began nursing at Woden Valley Hospital (now Canberra) before moving to Batemans Bay in 1987.
Although she stopped midwifery 12 years ago, she still loves meeting the people she helped deliver as a midwife and seeing them grow up to be part of the community.