“They said, ‘Lucy we’re at your house, if you get one more truck here we can save it’,” she said, speaking of her Wingello home in the Southern Highlands of NSW amid the Australian bushfire crisis.
“At that time every truck in town was already being used. Five minutes later they called and said, ‘Your house is going to go’.
“I drove past it and it was surrounded by flames. I did the rest of that shift thinking I had no house to go home to.”
But somehow Ms Brearley’s house survived despite everything around it succumbing to the blaze.
Ms Brearley had already spent two months battling ferocious bushfires raging in the state.
“To be at it for two months and then come back and do it at home is probably the toughest thing I’ve ever had to do,” she said.
Ms Brearley battled the deadly Green Wattle Creek fire for three weeks straight.
She had just done a day shift for that fire when she returned home to Wingello and the fire there started at 9pm, leaving her to do a 30-hour shift.
“Everyone was exhausted,” she said.
“Everyone’s been exhausted since these fires started, every firefighter in the state. I never really understood it until it happened to me. You can’t have a day off because it’s your town.
“Even when you’re not at the station it’s always on your mind.”
Ms Brearley has been a volunteer firefighter since she was 14.
At 22, she’s now decided she wants to be a paramedic.
Her sister set up a GoFundMe fundraiser to help get her closer to her goal of moving to the UK to work there.
“Upon graduating university Lucy had plans to work at her casual job at McDonalds to save up as much money before she left,” she wrote.
“Unfortunately due to the fires Lucy has put her income on hold to volunteer with the RFS and help as many people as possible.
“Lucy has done countless 18-hour days in a row.
“Unfortunately she in not eligible for the Federal Government assistance and we are asking for your generosity to help Lucy because she has helped so many of you directly and indirectly.”
Ms Brearley said she wanted to be a paramedic after attending a job as a firefighter.
“I grew up scared of anything gory, and every time at a motor vehicle accident I always stood way back. One day, I was 16 or 17, we were called to this incident where a motorcyclist crashed into a kangaroo.
“I was the only first-aid qualified there. That was the first time I ever considered the medical side of things. After that something switched and all I’ve wanted to do was paramedicine.”
Ms Brearley said she was overwhelmed by the support from people.