In the second of this series on St John volunteers, we caught up with Paul Kennedy, who works in the Ambulance Reserve, as a Voluntary Care Assistant and also looks after the voluntary fleet logistics.
Paul has been with St John for nearly 30 years but is still as committed and enthusiastic as when he first joined the service.
‘Back in 1990 I was looking for a “hobby” and wasn’t much of a fisherman, or artist. I had spent most of my life involved in football from player, to coach then committee member and secretary.
‘Then I spotted an ad in the Evening Press for volunteers in St John Ambulance, it appealed to me in that I could put something back into the community that had accepted me when I moved to Guernsey in 1981, and the rest as they say is history.’
Paul went along to an open night with 11 other individuals and they all joined up.
‘I did the basic first aider training course that allowed me to attend at public duties and was then able to go on duty covering all manner of events from Liberation Day to school fetes. You also enjoy a good social side too and eventually my wife also joined up as she had become a St John widow!’
‘My present role in St John is a little varied. Purely on the voluntary side of St John I am tasked with looking after the voluntary fleet logistics, ensuring that the vehicles are ready to go out on duty, carrying out minor repairs as and when necessary. If I am unable to do the repair, I arrange for the vehicle to be taken to the appropriate garage for repair.
‘I also very occasionally cover the odd first aid duty and I will be a volunteer at the Cenotaph for instance. In the wider St John family I am a member of the Ambulance Reserve that is a varied role from being on standby in case of a major incident, to being a Voluntary Care Assistant transporting patients to and from the Renal Unit at the PEH.’
‘During my time in the St John family I have had many good times and made many friends, both in the line of duty as a competitor at local, Inter insular, regional and national level, and the social side participating in several pantomimes with “Truly Awful Productions”. I think my best memory Is when our first aid team comprising of myself, Phil Ozanne and team reserve Jacqui Hancock represented Guernsey at the National competitions at the Fairfield Halls Croydon after winning the regional competitions.’
‘I would not say that this is for everyone, but there are many different things you can do within St John and I would recommend anyone to make that first telephone call to find out more.’
We are grateful to the Guernsey Press for use of the imagery and text which were published in January 2017.