Teenagers an­swer the call of the siren

Marlborough Midweek - - OUT & ABOUT - PAULA HULBURT

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.

PHOTO: PAULA HULBURT/FAIRFAX NZ

The Youth Emer­gency Ser­vices (YES) ini­tia­tive has taught Kaleb Wy­att, 16, and Martinett Gouws, 18, how to re­spond in an emer­gency.

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