St John Ambulance Guernsey has been one of the charities at the forefront of the island’s response to the latest lockdown.
Many of the organisation’s exiting volunteers have changed roles to become part of the Covid response team, which has also been boosted members of the public who have never volunteered before.
Paul Watts is a Chartered Building Surveyor and Associate Director at Savills. He first volunteered for St John on the inshore rescue boats before training as an event first aider, but with no events being held at the moment Paul is an active member of the ambulance decontamination team, which deep clean vehicles freeing up ambulance crews to respond to the next life-threatening case.
“We’re on call 24/7 and I’ve had calls at 1am and 2am to come in and help. Being woken up by the phone ringing is the easy bit, but getting back to sleep again at 4 or 5 in the morning once we’ve finished can be a bit of a challenge. There have been times when the crews have literally dropped their ambulance into the cleaning bay and almost immediately jumped into another ambulance to go on the next call.”
“My employer really values Corporate Social Responsibility and is very supportive of staff volunteering in the community and allow me to respond during my working day. Volunteering has given me a way to pause the lockdown for a couple of hours and I can have normal mundane conversations with people, even if we are all dressed from head to toe in PPE. So I feel like I am able to assist the community and do something positive for me too.”
We’d like to thank Paul and the rest of the St John volunteers who have been supporting the community in different ways during Covid.