Wollongong firefighter Ben Squires enjoyed one of his busiest days on the job on Saturday.
But it wasn't the number of fires he fought or incidents he was called to that kept him so busy.
It was because of the hundreds of families and children who visited the station for Fire & Rescue NSW Open Day.
"Many of the kids are interested in the water and get very hands on," Mr Squires said.
"They like getting in and out of the fire truck. And some of the kids like to get dressed up in the fire gear. It is a great day. We look forward to it as much as the kids".
But it is also an important day.
Mr Squires said many of the parents wanted to find out more about fire safety leading into winter.
Along with answering their questions there is a sample bag handed out to the children that has flyers with more information to help keep households safe.
"I have been a fire fighter for 14 years and each year this annual event just gets busier and busier," he said.
"We have had lots of children visit. I think we have had up to 100 people at any one time here today".
Mr Squires said the smaller children tended to ask what he did during a typical day on the job. While many of the older children want to know what is involved in becoming a firefighter.
Wollongong was one of many fire stations across the region that opened their doors for Fire & Rescue NSW Open Day.
Firefighters began welcoming visitors at 10am and offered a range of free activities such as firefighting demonstrations, station tours and safety presentations.
Families got to see fire trucks and firefighting and rescue equipment up close and ask local firefighters about the critical work they do to keep communities safe.
FRNSW Commissioner Paul Baxter said it was a chance to show people that firefighters do much more than fight fires.
They can be called to everything from road crashes to hazardous material incidents and natural disasters, urban search and rescue and humanitarian relief.
Mr Baxter said it was great so many families asked questions about the critical work local firefighters do to keep communities safe. And about home fire safety leading into winter.
He said there has been a 10 per cent increase in the number of home fires during the winter months.
More fires are starting in bedrooms and lounge rooms due to heaters and electric blankets.
Fire & Rescue NSW capabilities:
- Rescues - FRNSW is the state's lead agency for rescue services including urban search and structural collapse, vertical/cliffside, Swiftwater (floods) motor vehicle incidents, animal rescues.
- HAZMAT - containment and clean-ups on land and inland waterways
- Natural disaster and humanitarian relief - in NSW, across Australia and overseas supporting those in need
- Medical - response through the Community First Responder (CFR) program delivered by ten on-call stations around the state in partnership with NSW Ambulance.
- Prevention education - working closely with communities to reduce their risk and increase their resilience to fire and emergencies