Smoke, helicopters and rescue vessels will be seen and heard in the Doubtless Bay area on Saturday, but there will be no cause for alarm.
It will be the finale of this year's Youth in Emergency Services (YES) programme, with 10 young Far North trainees putting their new-found emergency services skills to the test.
The teenagers have spent the last four weeks learning a variety of skills, and they will need all of them on Saturday when they are confronted with a car crash (involving fire), and will go looking for and assisting people who are missing and/or injured on land and in the water.
"This will call on all the skills they have learned through the programme — triage and first aid, land- and water-based rescue, firefighting, decision-making and teamwork," Northland YES co-ordinating work group spokesperson Shona Morgan said.
The exercise, which she described as the highlight of the programme, would involve a total of about 75 people, with contributing agencies including Fire and Emergency NZ, the police, St John, the Red Cross, Far North Surf Rescue and a commercial Salt Air helicopter.
"Members of the public should be aware that there will be helicopters transiting from the Mangonui fire station to the exercise area near Taipa, along with smoke, emergency services vehicles around the area and rescue vessels on the water," she added.
A graduation ceremony for the young people and their families would follow next weekend, when the participants would also be offered the opportunity to volunteer for two months with the emergency service of their choice.