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Belmont, Perth,
08
May
2016
|
05:30
Australia/Perth

St John Ambulance pays tribute to volunteers

“Our volunteers are invaluable to the local community, dedicating their time to caring for the health and wellbeing of everyone in the region, ensuring local communities have access to high quality pre-hospital care,” she said.
Kate Fina, Manager of Volunteer Member Services

Ahead of National Volunteer Week, St John Ambulance Western Australia has recognised the invaluable contribution of its Country Ambulance volunteers

Each year in WA, nearly 3,500 Western Australians volunteer with St John across more than 160 country centres from the Great Southern to the Kimberly.

St John Volunteer Membership Services General Manager Kate Fina said ambulance services were fully run by volunteers in 145 locations in regional WA.

“Each volunteer must undergo rigorous training at the start to equip them with lifesaving clinical skills so they’re able to treat and stabilise the patients en-route to hospital,” said Ms Fina.

“Skills maintenance via ongoing training and educational programs ensures our service stays at the highest level. Volunteers also complete other courses such an ambulance driver training to expand their capabilities.”

Ms Fina said 15 country sub centres had a mix of volunteers and career paramedics while the rest were volunteer-led.

“Country Ambulance volunteers now have the additional support of Community Paramedics, career paramedics who provide training, clinical and operational support. In critical and major incidents, Community Paramedics will attend alongside country volunteers.”

“Our volunteers are invaluable to the local community, dedicating their time to caring for the health and wellbeing of everyone in the region, ensuring local communities have access to high quality pre-hospital care.”

Each year in WA, volunteer ambulance officers travel more than two million kilometres across WA, transporting more than 60,000 sick and injured people.

In a recent example following a major accident between a truck and motor vehicle near Mt Magnet, St John Ambulance was able to dispatch five volunteer ambulance crews from Mt Magnet, Yalgoo, Cue and Sandstone, as well as a local Community Paramedic.

After the incident had been cleared and patients transferred to hospital, a St John volunteer officer – who also manages the 24-hour diner in Mt Magnet – invited Ambulance, Police and Fire Service volunteers to debrief over breakfast.

The Community Paramedic observed “despite the horrible circumstances, that night everyone rolled up their sleeves, got to work and then supported each other. This was something special to witness, and yet it is something we all take in our stride. Each volunteer should be proud of this.”

St John has planned a series of events for National Volunteer Week to acknolwedge volunteers from around the state.