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Playing Firefighter

Perth's DFES Education and Heritage Centre

Pretty much every small boy dreams of being a firefighter, right? That’s why I was so surprised that the DFES (Department of Fire and Emergency Services) Education and Heritage Centre - better described as a fire station museum - is so little known in Perth. In fact, it took me six years of having a small boy before I heard about it!

The highlight is the fire truck on the ground floor. There is a large array of dress up items that children (and adults, in fact) can put on to get into the firefighter role, including real firefighter jackets and helmets, and then they can climb all through the fire truck and pretend they’re on the way to an emergency.

Nearby there is a historical fire truck as well, complete with a glittery golden helmet that looks more decorative than functional, although it’s reminiscent of the helmet worn by the fire chief in Lego sets these days!

There’s still a fireman’s pole in place over the two floors but they’ve filled in the second level with perspex to avoid any accidents - but this means you can look down below to wave to friends who haven’t yet come up to the second floor and you can still pose for fireman’s pole photos, of course.

perths dfes

Upstairs is full of fire and disaster-related displays (including some scarily lifelike firefighter mannequins). There’s a section about fire safety and a tunnel to crawl through to practice staying low in case of a fire, and then numerous displays related to other natural disasters such as earthquakes and cyclones.

perth dfes

As part of the rescue display, there’s a long climbing wall and some equipment kids can add to a backpack to take with them on a rescue climb, and my son and his friends definitely gave this climbing wall the biggest thumbs up of the day.

The DFES museum has reasonably limited opening hours, since it is staffed by volunteers, so check the website before you head in - in general it’s only open Tuesday to Thursday and often has additional closures over the Christmas school holidays.

Amanda Kendle is a born and bred Perth girl who loves to hang around with her rubbish-truck-loving four-year-old son. Amanda has lived and worked abroad in Asia and Europe and has been blogging about her travels at home and abroad for almost a decade at Not A Ballerina .

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