Scott Savage has spent more than six years volunteering and working with New Zealand Red Cross, joining the Youth Emergency Preparedness Programme (YEPP) in 2011 as a participant, the Dunedin Disaster Welfare and Support Team (DWST) in 2013, and the facilitation team for YEPP in 2016.

YEPP is designed to teach young people knowledge and skills to increase the levels of personal emergency preparedness within the community. In the event of a disaster such as an earthquake or flood, they could then take care of those around them, and therefore reduce the load on emergency services.

Recently, the emergency response and first aid skills Scott had learned during his time with New Zealand Red Cross saved his Dad from a potentially serious injury.

Scott’s father Steve had an accident at work, and although Steve’s colleagues were initially distressed and unsure how to proceed, Scott managed the situation with authority and amazing emotional strength.

Steve had injured his head and spine, so Scott calmly monitored his condition for 2.5 hours until St John was able to respond.

Liz Carroll-Lowe, Scott’s mother, said that this experience highlighted “the amazing benefits of YEPP.”

“It has contributed so much toward Scott’s development that he felt confident to manage this situation, and it’s not the first time he has acted to save someone’s life.”

“I am passionate about the benefits of YEPP, both Scott and I continue to encourage all the young people around us to consider joining.”

Red Cross' youth programmes are an effective medium for building community resilience from a young age. For more information about the Youth Emergency Preparedness Programme, send an email to otago@redcross.org.nz.