From the Newsroom

(L-R) Byron Brockwell, Tallon Shoesmith, Noah Brockwell and Heidi Brockwell enjoyed their afternoon at the Grafton Fire and Rescue 306 Station during the open day on May 14. Image: Emma Pritchard

Firing up community interest and awareness

Emma Pritchard


Hundreds of Clarence Valley families visited local fire stations on May 14 during the 2022 Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) Open Day.

While there was plenty of fun and excitement as children eagerly watched firefighting demonstrations, took turns using the high-pressure hose, and admired the impressive red fire truck on display, the annual event also focused on raising awareness of the importance of fire safety and prevention.

As children were given educational activity booklets and special firefighting hats, their parents and guardians were handed information brochures by local firefighters and encouraged to make sure their homes had working smoke alarms, especially heading into winter when more electrical appliances including heaters are in use.

Grafton Fire and Rescue 306 Station Captain Garry Reardon revealed more than 300 people were welcomed through the front doors between 10am and 2pm on Sunday, and said the event was an opportunity for families to have fun while learning about fire safety and prevention.

“It was a great crowd,” he said.

“Everyone enjoyed themselves, the big kids and the little kids.”

Among the visitors to Grafton Fire and Rescue 306 Station on the weekend were locals Noah and Heidi Brockwell, who told the Clarence Valley Independent they had a lot of fun.

During their visit, they joined in a range of activities including using the high-pressure hose and the thermal imaging camera, which allows firefighters to have greater situational awareness in emergencies.

On the other side of the Clarence River, South Grafton Fire and Rescue 307 Station also welcomed a large number of visitors during the open day with local crew members reporting more than 40 families attended.

FRNSW Commissioner Paul Baxter said open days are an opportunity to show people that firefighters do a lot more than fight fires.

“From fires, road crashes, hazardous material incidents and natural disasters to urban search and rescue, our crews are prepared for anything and ready to help anytime, anywhere,” he said.

“A large part of our role is to educate the community about home fire safety, and that is where open days come in.”