St John is “Looking for Legends” to step forward and join its statewide team of volunteer first responders
- St John WA has launched its first Statewide campaign to welcome volunteers to its Country Ambulance network,
- The campaign was launched following a 6.9 per cent rise in volunteer country ambulance cases,
- The not-for-profit organisation is looking to welcome more than 400 new regional volunteers across Western Australia through the recruitment drive.
St John WA has launched its first ever Statewide recruitment campaign to welcome new volunteers to its Country Ambulance network.
Looking for Legends calls on everyday Western Australians to support the community and upskill as a St John WA Country Ambulance volunteer.
The campaign was launched by St John WA following a 6.9 per cent rise in volunteer country ambulance cases since the first half of FY19 through to FY21.
St John WA’s Country Ambulance currently has more than 3600 volunteers supporting the service, which covers the largest footprint of any single ambulance service in the world — 2,525,500 square kilometres or 33 per cent of the total landmass of Australia.
The volunteer-based infrastructure has been vital in building community prehospital healthcare resilience across Western Australia’s remote regions, with volunteers trained in the skills and the tools to support residents in the event of a health or community emergency.
St John WA Head of Country Ambulance Operations, Justin Fonte, said the organisation hopes to boost volunteer numbers to support the rise in cases.
“Our Country Ambulance volunteers are the backbone of the Western Australian community, providing regional and remote residents with the care they need when they need it most,” Mr Fonte Siad.
“St John WA is incredibly grateful to have more than 3600 volunteers who have helped provide care to thousands of residents in regional Western Australia over the past year. We recognise that a larger base of volunteers will support the existing volunteers and the growing number of regional cases.
“We are calling on all Western Australians across the state to put their hand up and take part in an initiative that will have a positive impact in your community. There is no role that has a greater meaning than one that can change the life of someone’s loved one.
“Becoming a part of the St John WA Country Ambulance network is not just about the opportunity to deliver community service and making contact with likeminded individuals in this caring group. Ambulance volunteering also offers the chance to gain new skills in advanced first aid, emergency management or management and leadership skills. There are many different roles that all contribute to the ambulance service,” Mr Fonte said.
St John WA has 160 locations across regional Western Australia, which includes 140 response locations that are completely volunteer operated and supported by our knowledgeable Community Paramedics. In addition, there are 20 sub centres with a mix of volunteer ambulance officers and career paramedics working side-by-side.
MEET SOME OF OUR LEGENDS
Wheatbelt – Christine Brooke
Local Beverley resident and St John WA Volunteer Ambulance Officer Christine Brooke said volunteering aligned with her values and her passion for health care.
“You never grow tired of helping others, which is why I help out at the local op-shop and volunteer for St John WA. As a volunteer, I get to give back to my community,” said Ms Brooke.
Great Southern – Wendy Price
Local Ravensthorpe resident, 2021 Volunteer of the Year and St John WA Volunteer Ambulance Officer Wendy Price said that volunteering for St John WA helped built strong local friendships and connect with her community.
“The feeling of the patients being so grateful that you’ve turned up to help them when they need it is so rewarding. I love small communities, the people are great and we’re all the same, we’re all out there to look after each other, to help each other,” Ms Price said.
“Volunteering offers countless benefits for those seeking to give back to our local Ravensthorpe and Great Southern community. Not only has volunteering with St John WA been a rewarding experience, but it’s also helped me learn important life skills and establish stronger friendships and social networks.”
Geraldton – Ebony Verryt
Local Geraldton resident and St John WA Volunteer Ambulance Officer Ebony Verryt said that volunteering for St John WA has helped her grow her skillset, recently becoming an Emergency Medical Technician.
“As a mum of two young boys, my calendar quickly fills up with school and social commitments. However, I decided to make time for volunteering as I see it as a vital contribution to building a stronger and safer community for my family. For this reason, I choose to volunteer as a St John Ambulance Officer and help change the lives of others for the better,” Ms Verryt said.
Mid West – Thom Rossen
Local Dongara resident and St John WA Volunteer Ambulance Officer Thom Rossen said that volunteering for St John WA has changed his life.
“I spend a lot of time away from home, and because rural living gives a deeper connection to those around you, coming home is always very special, which is why I volunteer for St John” Mr Rossen said.
South West – Nathan Ramage
Local Pemberton resident and St John WA Volunteer Ambulance Officer Nathan Ramage said that volunteering for St John WA has changed his life.
“I guess you could say I live a fairly busy life; I work as a Fire Operations Officer, I volunteer as a DFES Fire and Rescue Volunteer, and I’m a part time DJ. Despite that, volunteering at St John WA has been so fulfilling, and is always something I’ll make time for,” Mr Ramage said.
Residents can register to become a St John Ambulance volunteer at: https://stjohnwa.com.au/changelives/volunteer