Northland Civil Defence Encourages Youth Involvement

By Dean Nathan

Local youth were flown into a full blown emergency exercise on the Hokianga harbour in an exercise to test four weeks of upskilling in civil defence emergency training. The exercise forms part of the Civil Defence national Youth in Emergency Services programme.

There are many first for these youths flying into a civil defence emergency exercise on the Hokianga harbour.

Participant Kauri Waipouri, says, “Oh yeah it was my first time on a helicopter and I was pretty nervous at first.  But I got excited afterwards.”

This is a real test of new-learnt skills in triage, first aid, land and water-based rescue and firefighting.

Participant Georgia Tilly says, “Yeah it's actually a lot more realistic than I thought it would be.  I've learnt a lot more than I have on any first aid courses and everything. Yeah, more than I thought I would have.” 

Deputy Principal Rural Fire Officer Clinton Lyal says, “It's great getting the kids involved in these things and making them more aware of the emergency services that we have around and trying to get them involved. It'd be good to see them as volunteers in the future.”

The regions emergency services in the sky, on land and sea all turned out to support the exercise. From here participants will be offered the opportunity to volunteer for two months with the emergency service of their choice.

Tilly says, “Just life skills probably, ya'know, being able to know what to do if you need to be in the situation. Yeah, I think I might join the fire brigade. Yeah, the Omapere Fire Brigade.”

Waipouri says, “They were really good, and they listened to me. I was team leader.  And they performed well doing their job.”

Another generation is primed to join the ranks of emergency services in the district.