Teenagers answer the call of the siren
A special initiative aimed at training future first responders is also helping out Marlborough’s emergency services.
The Youth in Emergency Services (YES) programme teaches teenagers how to react in a crisis situation.
The students will soon take their training one step further and volunteer with a branch of the emergency services.
Kaleb Wyatt, 16 and Martinett Gouws, 18, both took part and will sign up to work with either St John, Surf Life Saving New Zealand or the New Zealand Fire Service.
For both, an overnight training exercise at Mistletoe Bay in the Marlborough Sounds with 14 other students cemented their commitment to helping out.
‘‘I got much more out of it than I ever expected. I knew it was going to be hard work but it was also a lot of fun,’’ Martinett says.
‘‘You get thrown in the deep end a bit but, thanks to our training, you know what’s expected and how to react.
‘‘I would now be confident I knew how to save someone’s life.’’
Martinett says she would like to volunteer with the New Zealand Fire Service on a long-term basis.
Kaleb too would like to make a career out of helping and has designs on joining Surf Life Saving New Zealand once he completes his studies.
‘‘It was great to be part of it. It was pretty much what I expected and it’s helped me a lot.
‘‘I’ve learnt a lot of skills I didn’t have before, including rolling up fire hoses, which is harder than it looks.’’
Programme co-ordinator Ryan Pigou says students are chosen for their commitment to the programme.
‘‘The event went really well. They all worked through a few scenarios ranging from missing persons to a coastguard rescue which all helps raise awareness of what the emergency services do.
‘‘It’s all very hands-on with briefings, radio contact and setting up a command centre. They got thrown a few curve balls along the way but handled it admirably.’’
Visit myd.govt.nz for further information.
The Youth Emergency Services (YES) initiative has taught Kaleb Wyatt, 16, and Martinett Gouws, 18, how to respond in an emergency.