Emergency services exercise at Doubtless Bay this Saturday

14 Jun 2018, 8:55 AM

Smoke, helicopters and rescue vessels are likely to be visible in the Doubtless Bay area Saturday 16 June as a group of Far North young people put their new-found emergency services skills to the test.

Ten 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 a car accident with fire involved, as well as missing and injured people on land and in the water. This will call on all the skills they have learned through the programme – triage and first aid, land and water-based rescue, firefighting, decision-making and teamwork.

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 Fire and Emergency NZ, NZ Police, St John Ambulance, NZ Red Cross, Far North Surf Rescue and a commercial Salt Air helicopter.

"Members of the public should be aware that there will be helicopters transiting from Mangonui Fire Station to the exercise area near Taipa, along with smoke, emergency services vehicles around the area 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.

YES participants with fire hose.YES participants will need to use their new-found firefighting skills – as well as search and rescue and first aid – in Saturday's final exercise.