Colleen Lowe is no stranger to St John. For seventeen years Colleen worked as an Emergency Medical Technician with the Emergency Ambulance Service in Guernsey.
After years on the road responding to medical emergencies, Colleen has now switched roles and is working for the St John Guernsey charity as Operations Assistant.
In the new job Colleen will support the Chief Operating Officer with the running of the youth and community side of the charity. Her appointment comes at a time when St John is revamping some of its core activities. uitu“There are some really exciting times ahead. My first task is writing the lesson plans for the new curriculum for the St John Badgers and Cadets. We are currently working on developing a new universal framework for teaching first aid, so we can help the youngsters achieve their first aid badge. It is based on the national St John programme and will be a structured and co-ordinated across our four Badger and Cadet groups.”
The first aid training will only not help the young people to achieve their first aid badge, but will also prepare them for the forthcoming first aid inter-insular in the spring, when representatives from St John Guernsey will put their skills to the test as they compete against their counterparts from Jersey.
“Jersey won inter-insular last year, so there’s a lot of Guernsey pride for us to compete for this year,”
As well as serving as an EMT, Colleen was also a member of the Inshore Rescue Boat team, worked on the Flying Christine and was a Deputy Team Leader, so she has lots of experience to bring to the community side of the charity.
“Whether you’re teaching first aid to children or treating a patient in the ambulance, you need to have a methodical approach and make sure you get the basics right. With the Badgers and Cadets it is about delivering the right level of skills.”
Although she is looking forward to her new role Colleen admits doing a desk job in an office will be quite a change.
“I loved being on the road. Every day was different. There were so many occasions when I was able to make a difference to someone. You remember the good bits, but you also remember the bad cases too.”
Colleen believes Badgers and Cadets can help young people develop a lot more than just first aid skills.
“My grandchildren have been in Badgers and Cadets and they’ve always had lots of fun and learnt new things but have definitely gained a lot of self-confidence too. I’ve only been doing the job for a few weeks, but I am already loving working with the youngsters and supporting the volunteers.”