A wide variety of individuals work for St John either as staff or give up their time and skills to volunteer, and the organisation relies on all of them to provide a wide range of services for the community.
By day JP Le Breton works as a police officer but he is heavily involved as a volunteer for St John both in the inshore rescue team and out in the community.
‘When I joined the force did the basic first aid training that is required of us and I found I enjoyed learning about emergency first aid, and how valuable it is to have this knowledge and wanted to learn more.’
JP says that police officers now do refresher courses annually to keep their skills current.
‘It also enables you to deal with emergency situations with more confidence. On a personal note I have also seen first hand the difference the work of the service can make. My son required help from the inshore rescue boat when he got cut off by the tide when fishing, and my father was given life saving emergency treatment when he suffered a cardiac arrest in the back of an ambulance.’
JP has to carry out regular training sessions with the inshore lifeboat and is always on call should there be a casualty.
‘I have also worked for St John as a community first responder which meant I could be called up to be the first person on scene if there is an emergency so carried a full kit which includes a defibrillator. I found this useful both as an individual and a member of the police force.
‘I feel very strongly that I have been privileged to receive some incredible training over the years as a police officer so I very much wanted to pay something back to the community.’
JP worked as a firearms instructor in the police force for eight years and is currently acting Chief Inspector in Uniform Operations.
‘I want to utilise my police skills and enhanced medics training within the police firearms arena to assist my colleagues in St John and the community. I enjoy being part of the emergency services and helping others, it is great that some of my police skills are transferable and I am used to working within and commanding police teams.’
JP is an experienced trainer himself and enjoys this part of his role within the force.
‘With 25 years’ experience I believe that it is great opportunity to share some of that experience and training in other emergency disciplines and I also enjoy learning new skills. I would recommend anyone to sign up for some first aid training.
Graham Le Maitre at the Emergency Ambulance Service provides excellent training to enable you to learn first aid skills and go on to qualify as a CFR (first aider on the scene). You are given the equipment to carry with you, but above all the self-belief that you can cope.’
We are grateful to the Guernsey Press for use of the imagery and text which were published in January 2017.