The kids and I love venturing into Perth CBD to discover new things, so when we heard about The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) Education and Heritage Centre for children and families, we were excited to check it out.
Parking is never easy in the city, so we rode the train in and caught the Red Cat to the Royal Perth Hospital stop. My youngest son loves riding the train and the bus, so this in itself was part of the adventure! The Education and Heritage Centre is located near Royal Perth Hospital on the corner of Murray and Irwin Streets.
The FESA is nestled right across the street from another heritage spot in Perth. This part of the city is rich in culture, and the tree lined street has a sort of charm from years past.
We entered the centre and were immediately drawn to the old time fire engines and heritage displays showing the progress of fire fighting through the years. I especially appreciated this part of the museum… looking at old leather fire hoses, firefighter uniforms, and equipment.
The heritage centre is an actual fire station from the past. The old engines are parked in the firehouse garage. It was fun showing the kids how the firefighters used to slide down the pole from the second story to race into their gear and onto the truck.
In the back corner of the fire station, there was a mirror and box of dress up for the kids. They could become firefighters themselves by dressing in hats and big yellow jackets! Even my thirteen year old got into the dress up fun!
Upstairs in the heritage centre was a whole floor of interactive safety exhibits with hands on demonstrations and models.
After climbing the stairs, you will see a section with computer kiosks and information pamphlets about possible disasters and their safety procedures. But it was the next room that got my 4-year-old son’s attention. It had child-sized tables and chairs, puzzles, colouring in sheets, crayons, and loads of books to read about fire safety.
The last room brought us through several modules about emergency situations and safety. Including water/marine safety, fire safety, safety in the bush/wilderness, earthquakes, hurricanes, and mountain terrain safety. The categories all relate to Wind, Earth, Water, & Fire.
What we liked best about the heritage centre was the hands-on aspect. It was a museum where discovering and learning through touch and interaction was encouraged. The best part of all… the whole experience was FREE!
The Education and Heritage Centre is open 10 am – 4pm Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday, and admission is FREE!
The Education and Heritage Centre is situated on the corner of Murray and Irwin Streets, Perth, near Royal Perth Hospital. See the website for more details.
Word of Note from The Education and Heritage Centre
Due to the Centre’s size and school visits that may already be scheduled, we CANNOT accept parent group bookings or such a group’s unplanned arrival on the day as this can reduce access to exhibits for everyone. If parents are planning a group (more than 5 families) to come to the Centre they must first call so we can ensure their visit won’t be hampered by schools etc. already booked. The fire truck is a popular interactive learning tool but long queues can reduce the enjoyment around this and we must give our school groups priority
The Centre is designed for family interaction and learning to increase understanding and preparation around natural hazard and emergency risk. There are many activities to do and we encourage parents and caregivers to indulge this opportunity with their children. This level of learning is best suited for children from 4 years old.
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