Fire engines, rescue helicopters and police cars were the playground of choice for youngsters at the Trustpower TECT Rescue Helicopter open day.
Police, fire, Land Search and Rescue, Civil Defence and Surf Life Saving were represented at yesterday's annual open day, along with TrustPower staff who handed out lollies and stickers to hundreds of children.
Crowds filled the Ian Pain Memorial Hangar, behind Tauranga Hospital, as excited children queued to have their photo taken in their choice of emergency vehicle.
Mark and Belinda Edgecombe were waiting in line with Louis, 4, and Amelia, 6, to have their pictures taken in the Trustpower TECT Rescue Helicopter.
Mr Edgecombe said whenever the children heard a helicopter, they raced to the nearest window to have a look and wondered where it was going.
"They're fascinated by helicopters. They've been in most things, but never a helicopter, so they're pretty excited. It's not often you can get close to one. When they see a helicopter, the kids like to know where it's going and what they're doing. They like to know the helicopter is helping somebody."
Philips Search and Rescue Trust marketing manager Jacqui Gage-Brown said the open day had been fantastic.
"It was one of the largest crowds we've had in a long time. It was great to see everybody coming down for a look and great to have all the emergency services showing people how it all works."
Ms Gage-Brown said the highlight of the day had been a 7-year-old boy from Papamoa Primary School winning the colouring-in competition.
"He had just handed his picture in and when we announced his name as the winner of a free flight to his school, the look on his face was just priceless.
"Another highlight would have been when the Armed Offenders' Squad showed up. They came squealing into the carpark with sirens going, pulled over a car, let off smoke bombs then set the dogs to get the driver of the car."
The aim of the open day was to show the community what its donations helped to fund.