Emergency services exercise at Kai Iwi Lakes this Saturday

8 Jun 2017, 10:54 AM

Smoke, helicopters and rescue vessels are likely to be visible in the Kai Iwi Lakes area this Saturday as a group of Kaipara young people put their new-found emergency services skills to the test.

Seventeen teenagers have been learning hands-on emergency services skills over the past four weeks through the national Youth in Emergency Services (YES) programme. On Saturday, they will face an exercise scenario that confronts them with victims in the water, and missing and injured people on land, and a wildfire. This will call on all skills they have learned through the programme – triage and first aid, land and water-based rescue, firefighting, decision-making and teamwork.

Fireman and young person putting out an aircraft fire.The final exercise from the YES Hokianga programme held last year as an indication of what can be expected on Saturday.

The exercise is the highlight of the programme, says Shona Morgan, spokesperson for Northland’s YES co-ordinating work group. It will involve a total of about 75 people, with contributing agencies including NZ Police, NZ Fire Service, Rural Fire, St John Ambulance, NZ Red Cross, Department of Conservation, the Northland Emergency Services Trust helicopter, and a commercial Skyworks helicopter.

“Members of the public should be aware that there will be helicopters transiting from Dargaville airport to the exercise area at Lake Waikare, along with smoke, emergency services vehicles around the lake and rescue vessels on the water,” Ms Morgan said.

A graduation ceremony for the young people and their families will follow next weekend, when the participants will also be offered the opportunity to volunteer for two months with the emergency service of their choice.