Youth in Emergency Services

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2016-03-30T17:05:00 Pacific/Auckland

YOUTH IN EMERGENCY SERVICES PROGRAMME DEVELOPS NEXT GENERATION OF VOLUNTEERS & PROFESSIONALS

Fourteen Taumarunui High School students aged from 14 to 17 years are taking part in the inaugural Youth in Emergency Services programme to learn about the different emergency service organisations.

Over the six week programme the students will spend time with various emergency services taking part in training and exercises in what that service would actually do in a real-life civil defence or emergency situation.

In addition to providing the students with valuable life skills and confidence it is hoped that it will interest some of them in joining an emergency service organisation as a volunteer or even consider a career in one of the services.

Organised and run by Ruapehu District Council emergency services with funding from the Ministry of Youth Development the programme involves the NZ Fire Service, Rural Fire, St John ambulance, LandSAR, Police and the Defence Force.

Emergency Services Programme Coordinator Rayden Horton said that it was amazing to see the development progress in the students’ skills and self-confidence.

“The programme is no ‘walk in the park’ and is really challenging the students who are enjoying the hands-on, practical aspects of the exercises and that they all have a very real feel to them,” he said.

“In addition to learning about the theory of emergency response planning they get to handle and use the actual equipment that would be used in responding to an emergency event which so far has included first aid response training through to practicing putting out controlled burns with firefighting equipment.”

“The last part of the programme the students will spend a weekend at the Army base in Waiouru where they will take part in a series of emergency response scenarios which they are all really looking forward to.”

“An award ceremony for the students and their families will be held at Council’s Huia St chamber in Taumarunui on Wednesday 13 April.”

Mr Horton said that due to the success of this pilot it is hoped that the Ministry will fund the programme every year.

“If funding is approved for the programme next year we will take it to Ruapehu College in Ohākune and then hopefully have on-going funding to run it on a year about basis with Taumarunui High School.”

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Page reviewed: 30 Mar 2016 5:05pm