A joint program aimed at encouraging Pilbara youth to consider a position in the emergency services started this week, providing on-the-job experience in a variety of important roles.
The Youth in Emergency Services program will aim to build a cohort of young people engaged with emergency services in regional areas through after-school opportunities to experience various facets of emergency services, including marine rescue and the bushfire service.
The project will start in Port Hedland with the development of a hub, and will look to expand into Karratha and Tom Price after the initial trial period.
Department of Fire and Emergency Services acting director human resources and safety Jennifer Pidgeon said the program aimed to bring the importance of emergency services to the forefront of young people’s minds by providing hands-on experience.
The program is funded for a two-year period by DFES and the National Disaster Resilience Program at a combined cost of $480,000 and is open to people aged 11-18.
Town of Port Hedland commissioner Fred Riebeling said he welcomed the establishment of the program.
“It’s a fantastic initiative which teaches young people the value of community spirit and civic involvement,” he said
“DFES and WA Police value the importance of guiding our young people into positive pathways of personal and social development — values shared by the town.”
The Town has also contributed through organising a bus to take participants to and from the classes.
“We play a role in fostering a safe and liveable community, and we know that a crucial way of achieving this is for young people to feel they can make a positive difference,” Mr Riebeling said.
Operations will run from the Hedland hub and will assist efforts in other remote communities.