Bailiff of Guernsey, Sir Richard Collas has paid tribute to the volunteers and staff of St John Ambulance.
Sir Richard’s comments came as he presented Long Service awards to thirteen members of the St John Fellowship.
“I would like to thank the whole of the St John Ambulance Commandery for all you do for the island community, which is hugely appreciated. You are quite unique in Guernsey, for a start there is no other marine ambulance, and I believe there are only three jurisdictions where St John provides the emergency ambulance service, so you are very special,” he said.
The Bailiff, who witnessed the work of St John at the Island Games last year added: “The reputation and respect you have in the international St John organisation was evident to those of us who went down to Gibraltar for the Island Games because you were the ones being called upon at short notice to run the first aid service for the games community.”
Sir Richard paid special tribute to the volunteers of St John who attend community events throughout the year. “You give reassurance to people, whether it is at the Muratti final or the Siam Cup or the annual summer shows. You are there on duty and people know you will pick up the pieces if needed. Over the years there’s been more than one occasion when I’ve had to come to you, either when I was young myself or to bring one of my children when they’ve fallen off the slide or done something, so I’ve appreciated the treatment you give.”
He also thanked the full-time personnel at the Emergency Ambulance Service: “One hopes that one won’t need you, but it is very reassuring to know that you are there. I know respected members of the medical profession have told me, that in emergency medical situations they are happy to leave it to the paramedics to treat a patient because in that situation it is the paramedics that know best. This shows how well trained and how respected you are.”
Sir Richard, who retires as Bailiff if May added that one of the things he wanted to do in his retirement was to go on a St John first aid course. In his closing remarks Sir Richard thanked everyone at St John for everything they do for the island community and those out at sea.