Course participants learned how to respond to emergency situations.
The month-long course was a trial project by the Ministry of Youth Development and Rotorua emergency services. The aim was to open doors for young people to volunteer or follow a career path in the emergency services, as well as build connections between young people and their communities.
Youth in Emergency Services was runner-up in the Spirit of Rotorua Awards Education and Child/Youth Development category in October.
Blair Gilbert, who is the regional team manager for the ministry and convenor for Youth In Emergency Services, said the course started as a result of work being done in the Lake Okareka community.
Lake Okareka Volunteer Rural Fire Force chief fire officer Phil Muldoon had young people regularly turn out to volunteer.
"I've travelled the world looking at youth development programmes and this one was in my community,' Mr Gilbert said.
"We thought we could do it bigger. Now everyone is looking to Rotorua as the role model. They're inspired by us and excited because of our experience."
Similar courses are to be run in Kaikohe, Gisborne, Mangakino/Taupo, Kaikoura and Alexandra. A group of 15 youth took part in weekend activities before a weekend-long camp at Tui Ridge where they showed the skills they had learned. As a result, some have chosen a career path and others have continued to volunteer.
"All areas are crying out for volunteers," Mr Muldoon said.
"It's getting out there and experiencing what we do. It's not as daunting as what people think. This has opened the doors to future careers for them and it's a credit to the youth involved that it went so well."
The next course is being held in Rotorua from February.
Each week we will be profiling winners of the Spirit of Rotorua Awards, held in October.
- THE DAILY POST