Walpole-Nornalup centre sounds call for new ambulance volunteers

Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
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St John Ambulance community paramedic David Rae says more people are needed to share the volunteering load.
Camera IconSt John Ambulance community paramedic David Rae says more people are needed to share the volunteering load. Credit: West Regional

The Walpole-Nornalup St John Ambulance sub-centre has sounded its own emergency call as the team continues to search for volunteers to step up for their community.

With several volunteers stepping down this year the sub-centre is looking to train as many new recruits as possible to continue its services.

A crew of 10 volunteers operate two ambulances responding to an average 100 calls a year covering Walpole and the surrounding districts.

Without the centre, locals would have to wait for ambulances to arrive from Denmark or Albany, placing more pressure on strained country health services.

Walpole-Nornalup also offers a community transport service, driving patients to Denmark and Albany for medical appointments.

St John community paramedic David Rae said the team needed more volunteers to share the load and ensure the region was covered in emergencies.

“Currently, the majority of our members are retired and like to travel and have time off,” he said.

“So we are looking to make sure that we have got enough people available to give them that feeling that if they go away on holiday they are not leaving the town unserviced.

“We are looking to take on anyone that is interested to help share the load across the group that is already there.”

Mr Rae said the need for volunteers wasn’t unique to Walpole, with country sub-centres across the Great Southern relying on volunteers.

“Educating people new to the region that towns rely on volunteers for all of their emergency services is a big thing,” he said.

“It is an awesome way to get involved in their community and get to know people. It makes you feel a sense of value that you are actually giving back and it adds to the sense of belonging in a community.”

No experience is needed to volunteer with training and costs covered by St John Ambulance.

New volunteers will be provided with a uniform and mentor, and can work on a flexible roster.

To volunteer, call David Rae on 0418 317 231.

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