Like many Illawarra parents, Darin Sullivan will be attending Wollongong's protest for action on the bushfire crisis because he doesn't want his children to grow up in a dangerous world.
But, unlike most, the Shellharbour firefighter has firsthand experience of the way fires have changed over the past 30 years.
A week after he was stationed in the Shoalhaven as the giant Currowan fire burnt through, Mr Sullivan will join protesters at Wollongong's Arts Precinct, as one of the main speakers at the rally to be held at 3.30pm on Saturday.
The Shellharbour station officer was part of an Illawarra strike team that helped to save an elderly man's house in Wandandian last Saturday.
People are donating, we're getting boots on the ground to help, and the protest is another way to do more. My family will be there, because my kids want to grow up in a world that is safer than it looks like it's going to be, and this is a way to call for action.Darin Sullivan
Tasked to protect a petrol station, Mr Sullivan and his crew came across the house as it was under threat from the fire and helped to protect the property and rescue the man inside. They were later sent to Cambewarra when that came under threat from the southerly wind change.
Now recovering from smoke inhalation, Mr Sullivan called on people to join the rally to "support firefighters, action on climate change and each other".
"My union [the Fire Brigade Employees Union] has been quite public about the need for action of climate change because of the impact it has on our industry," he said. "
"Our workplace is becoming more dangerous, and we've been calling on the government to take stronger action. But here we are: we've had firefighter deaths, we've had an absolute disaster, and part of the reason we're in this situation is because our inaction on climate change over the last 10 to 20 years."
"I've been fighting fires for 30 years, in most bushfire campaigns around the state, and now we're seeing things we've never seen before with the heat of the fires and them creating their own weather patterns."
Mr Sullivan said he supported statements made by former Commissioner Greg Mullins and other emergency leaders, who asked the government to commit more resources to firefighting and climate action before this bushfire disaster began.
"For me, Saturday is about raising these issues, and I'm sure there will be people also voicing their discontent with the leadership from the state and federal governments," he said.
"People are donating, we're getting boots on the ground to help, and the protest is another way to do more. My family will be there, because my kids want to grow up in a world that is safer than it looks like it's going to be, and this is a way to call for action."
The protest is organised by the Illawarra Climate Justice Alliance. It is one of many being held nationally this week.
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