As the weather heats up, Sydney will be swarming with fire-fighters from around the globe as they switch fire trucks for kayaks and overalls for swimsuits to compete in the 2012 World Firefighters Games.
In its twelfth year, the event will see full time, rural and volunteer firefighters, emergency services, military personnel, as well as their family members battle it out in more than 71 events, including Dodgeball, Cycling, Body Building and Tug of War, across 10 days.
Representing Australia in The Amazing Race, darts and billiards, Bill Kannewell from the Tasmania Fire Service has been fighting fires for 30 years, beginning his career at one of the most devastating series of fires in Australia's history.
"I started fighting fires at the Ash Wednesday fire back in 1983 when I was 17 years of age," Kannewell said.
Whilst undecided whether he will compete for title of Toughest Fire Fighter, which he believes involves "a lot of bloody hard work", he is certain about his motives behind competing in the Games.
"I want to give something back to the kids at the [Westmead Children's Hospital] burns unit and the kids are the main thing I am doing it for and not myself," he said.
For some participants it is as much about forging friendships with the opposition as it is about competition, with age being no barrier to entry.
Retired Swedish firefighter, Kjell Quick, 69, and his partner Yvonne Skog, 67, first competed in 1998 in Durban, South Africa returning to participate in every game since.
"We meet so many lovely people from all around the world and it is exciting," Skog said.
"I think that is the best [thing] with the games...coming together and meeting people."
Ms Skog will compete in the Ten Pin Bowling event, but aeroplane weight restrictions meant leaving some equipment at home.
''I am not nervous, but I don't have my ball with me because it was too heavy so I must borrow one in the alley. And after all it is for fun," she said.
The event runs until October 28 at various locations around Sydney, including sites from the 2000 Olympics.