There’s Still Time to Say YES!

The 2017 YES (Youth in Emergency Services) programme is fast approaching and we are after teenagers, aged between 16 and 19 years old, who want to learn more about the emergency services.  Registrations close on 20 August 2017.

To find out more about what YES Camp, what to expect and what happens next we spoke to Dale Atkinson, a Year 13 Student from Kaiapoi High School who attended YES Camp last year. 

Dale comes from a long line of volunteers with three generations of his own family volunteering for St John Ambulance.  Dale says, “When I first heard about the YES Camp I was really interested in taking part as I wanted to learn more about the different emergency services and what they do  in our community.“

“It was an awesome experience, I got to learn heaps of new skills, meet lots of different people I wouldn’t normally have met before,” Dale recalls.

The camp starts on 2 October running through until 6 October and is being held at the Glentui Lodge. Participants go on to volunteer for 3 months with a service of their choice.  The programme is designed to provide participants with an introduction to emergency services including:

  • Fire and Emergency Service New Zealand (FENZ)
  • St John Ambulance
  • Land Search and Rescue
  • Civil Defence Rescue
  • Red Cross
  • NZ Police
  • NZ Coastguard
  • NZRT12 (New Zealand Response Team)
  • Waikuku Surf Lifesaving

Leanne Bayler from the Waimakariri District Council’s Community team says, “We had really positive feedback from our participants last year and we are really keen to make this year’s camp just as good.” She said they want participants to gain practical experience, skills for life and live saving at this camp. “Our local emergency services are looking forward to working alongside our young people making their time at camp challenging, enjoyable and fun,” she exclaimed.

The camp is filled with entertaining activities that are more hand-ons than theory and complimented with local guest speakers during the post dinner sessions.  The highlight of the week, says Dale, was the final exercise on the last day which was a simulated emergency situation “It was great to use all the practical skills working together in that final exercise and was really good to be able to have our parents along too as they could see how much we had learned.”

Dale chose to spend his volunteer placement with NZ Coastguard and enjoyed training with the team every week and working with such a great bunch of people.  Dale continues to volunteer for his local Coastguard and is looking forward to turning 18 so he can sign up fulltime.

So for those teenagers out there who are thinking of giving it a go, Dale reckons “Just go for it, you’ll learn heaps, meet lots of great people, gain lots of experience and have fun too.”

To learn more go to  

This is a joint venture between Waimakariri, Selwyn and Hurunui Districts

Contact: Leanne Bayler

Phone: 0800 965 468