Kids hoisted each other away from imaginary danger, another frantically pumped life into a CPR dummy, a chopper buzzed overhead and families took a ride in a toy ambulance.

There was action everywhere you looked at the Caring for Northland Summer Safety Day on Sunday, a joint effort by local emergency services to help people see the fun and human side of the region's most serious and important jobs.

Activities included "what to do in a kitchen fire" - complete with a real fire, a Search and Rescue stretcher operation, a helicopter winching demonstration and (hugely popular) the chance to play with police car sirens.

Organising committee member Steve Macmillan said many of the staff there on the day were volunteering off the clock.

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"Everyone you see here today is there to help," he said. "It's to encourage [people] not to be scared of the police or the fire guys, but to reach out and realise they're people like you and I."

Mr Macmillan said the Fire Service's combat challenge which involved a fire hose, several flights of stairs and one-on-one help from a fire fighter was always the "hot attraction".

The event also helped recruit volunteers and encouraged young people to consider emergency services career options.