Masons donate a new ambulance to St John Guernsey volunteers.

St John Guernsey, the voluntary section of St John, has been presented with a new ambulance vehicle by the Mark Master Masons.

The donation is part of nationwide project with a fleet of new ambulances being donated to St John around England and the Islands. The vehicle is one of fifty-one funded by a capital grant by the Mark Master Masons through their Mark Benevolent Fund to the Order of St John.

The ambulance will be used by volunteers in Guernsey in their work providing first aid cover at events around the island. Each year volunteers attend around 150 events, including Liberation Day, sporting fixtures, summer shows and school fetes.

Although the vehicle is not of the same specification as an emergency road ambulance, it will be used as an additional resource for major incidents and as back up vehicle for the St John Emergency Ambulance Service if emergency vehicles are already deployed or unavailable.

The chairman of St John Guernsey, Jurat David Hodgetts received the keys to the new ambulance at a ceremony at the Masonic Centre in St Martins on Saturday. The presentation was made by Mr Tony Morris, the Deputy President of the Mark Benevolent Fund and Mr Derek Upton, the Provincial Grand Master of the Mark Master Masons of the Channel Islands.

The Knight Commander of the Commandery of St John in the Bailiwick, Andrew Henton was also in attendance along with members of the St John Guernsey board and the Chief Operating Officer Nikki Harrison and St John volunteers.

Chairman of St John Guernsey, Jurat David Hodgetts said “The Mark Master Masons have a long relationship with the national Order of St John and at the turn of the Millennium, the Mark Benevolent Fund provided a significant contribution to replace the organisation’s fleet of ambulances. Those ambulances, including ours in Guernsey, have served us well, but are now in need of replacing with vehicles which will have up-to-date medical technology and features. We are extremely grateful for this generous gift.”

Nikki Harrison, Chief Operating Officer of St John Guernsey added “We are delighted to be getting this new ambulance for Guernsey. I would like to thank the Mark Master Masons for their ongoing support of St John and their generosity in fundraising. The replacement vehicle will soon be seen at public events around the island where we provide first aid cover. I know our volunteers will appreciate the new working environment and updated features, as will members of the public who need first aid treatment.”

Derek Upton, Provincial Grand Master of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of the Channel Islands said “I and all the Mark Master Masons in both Islands are immensely proud to be associated with the providing of these Ambulances, which we hope will contribute to the safeguard of both communities, which we all enjoy being part of, and where we live, work and relax in. The Mark Master Masons pledged just over 3¼ million pounds, raised by Mark Master Masons throughout the country, to enable a two year programme to provide up to 52 replacement, state of the art ambulance and support vehicles in their Provinces.”