Thumbs up for St John volunteers

Tim EdmundsAlbany Advertiser

St John Ambulance volunteers are proving critical in the Great Southern, with recent lifesaving intervention and new research showing clinical volunteers are as equipped as professional career paramedics in other States and overseas.

St John Ambulance Great Southern regional manager Cassandra Hughes said the 382 volunteers across the Great Southern worked alongside paramedics and received the level of training equal to career paramedics in North America and Europe

She said a recent call-out in which a patient was successfully resuscitated by clinical volunteers highlighted their importance to the ambulance service in the region.

“It was a complex case and they were actually able to revive the patient,” Ms Hughes said.

“In the last few months we have received commendations from the hospital on how well our volunteers have treated and transported patients.”

St John Ambulance Service general manager Julian Smith said more than 3700 clinical volunteers across regional WA had training equal to that undertaken by emergency medical technicians in some overseas ambulance services.

“It is incorrect to assume that just because someone is a volunteer they’re less able to handle emergency situations and provide the highest level of patient care,” he said.

Ms Hughes said the retention of clinical volunteers was high in the Great Southern and St John was about to undertake a recruitment campaign.

“Our volunteers are incredibly committed and dedicated,” she said. “The community have a lot of faith and trust in paramedics and clinical volunteers. The trust is in the green uniform.”

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