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Emergency services exercise around Parua Bay

20 May 2019, 9:12 AM

Smoke, helicopters, emergency services vehicles and rescue vessels are likely to be visible in the Parua Bay area Saturday, 25 May as a group of young people put their new-found emergency services skills to the test.

Fifteen teenagers have been learning hands-on emergency services skills over the past three weeks through the national Youth in Emergency Services (YES) programme. Next Saturday, they will face an exercise scenario that confronts them with fires that need to be extinguished, 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, Ruakaka Surf Lifesaving and two helicopters (Northland Rescue Helicopter and Skywork).

“Members of the public should be aware that there will be helicopters transiting from Onerahi Fire Station to the exercise areas – inland from Parua Bay and also on the waterfront at Wharf Road – 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 early next month, when the participants will also be offered the opportunity to volunteer with the emergency service of their choice.

A scene from the final exercise at last year’s YES programme.

A scene from the final exercise at last year’s YES programme.