Volunteering has always been one of the core principles of St John around the world since its formation in the 1800’s. St John Guernsey is no exception. Volunteers play a part in a lot of what St John Guernsey does from the provision of first aid cover and training to helping transport regular patients to dialysis appointments.
Many of our volunteers are passionate about serving their community and carry out a number of roles within St John.
As a first aid volunteer you can be the difference between a life lost and a life saved. Our first aid volunteers are a familiar sight at community events – many of which could not continue without us.
Our dedicated team of volunteers give many thousands of hours to the community each year. With an ever-increasing demand for our services – we need help. If you’re aged 18 years or over and like the idea of helping others we’d like to hear from you.
You do not need prior knowledge of first aid as we will train you. To become a first aider you will need to complete:
- An induction course covering several aspects of the organisation including a brief introduction to the history of St John, manual handling techniques and child protection
- First aid training based on the modular community first aid package
Both during your training, and after, you won’t be left without help. We arrange for new first aiders to work with experienced first aiders, so you can increase your skills and confidence. Once you have gained some experience on duty, you may wish to complete further training to become an advanced first aider.
We usually recommend that people who are new to first aid spend at least six months to a year in the first aider role before starting training in more advanced subjects. Every member of St John Ambulance is assessed annually to make sure our skills are up-to-date.
Community First Responders
A Community First Responder is a volunteer who makes themselves available to be dispatched by Ambulance Control to attend a potentially life-threatening emergency. They are trained as a minimum in basic life support and the use of a defibrillator. First Responders are alerted by Ambulance Control at the same time as an ambulance is deployed and, as they are already in the communit,y they can often get to the patient first.
A Community First Responder will be dispatched to category ‘A’ type emergency calls which are:
- Cardiac arrest
- Chest pains
- Breathing difficulties
- Severe bleeding
Community First Responders are dispatched by Ambulance Control by text message and Tetra radio. If they are in the vicinity they will respond equipped with a life-saving defibrillator and first response kit to administer immediate treatment to the patient prior to the arrival of the ambulance. There will be no delay in sending an ambulance due to this scheme.
St John operates two rescue teams manned by expert volunteers.
The cliff rescue team is made up of volunteers from a variety of backgrounds. Many are members of the Guernsey Mountaineering Club and have previous experience and qualifications. They undertake training in the special techniques and equipment needed to perform the potentially dangerous task of rescuing people and animals from the cliff faces or sheer rock walls of Guernsey’s water-filled quarries. Team members attend training courses in the Peak District and Snowdonia. The more experienced senior members instruct the newer recruits on their return to the island. Instructors from the Mountain Rescue Centre at Plas y Brenin in Wales visit Guernsey on a regular basis to conduct short intensive courses with St John Cliff Rescue Team members.
The inshore rescue service is also manned by volunteers, many of these people also have previous experience and Royal Yachting Association (RYA) qualifications. The service operates around Guernsey’s coastline and the smaller adjacent islands of the Bailiwick. The two inshore boats, on call 24 hours a day, are housed at St John headquarters on the outskirts of Guernsey’s main town of St Peter Port. They are ready to be despatched overland to the launching slipway’s nearest to any reported incident. St John also maintains a small inflatable boat for despatch to inland flooded areas or water-filled quarries.
St John inshore rescue boats are called to rescue people trapped by rising tide, on small boats and other craft or to evacuate injured casualties from the base of cliffs. Sometimes this involves operating in hazardous conditions among dangerous rocks in the hours of darkness with the St John Cliff Rescue team.
Alderney Ambulance Service
If you would be interested in joining the Alderney Ambulance Service you are welcome to meet the team on a Monday night at the HQ at Crabby at 6pm.
Working with the ambulance team is good fun, rewarding and can be exciting. Everyone is part-time and sessions can be arranged to fit in with your job and lifestyle. Training takes place on Monday evenings from 6 till 8 pm. The teams usually work in threes and there is normally a backup team in reserve.
Uniforms are provided and remuneration is £12 per hour (call out) and £10 per hour (stand-by). There is also a small petrol allowance.
The crews do lift patients frequently and a certain degree of fitness is necessary. No qualifications are necessary although a driving licence is an advantage. Please think if you could help us maintain the service for the island.
The Ambulance Reserve is a group of volunteers who assist the professional ambulance service at major incidents, during times of high demand and adverse weather conditions. They are trained how to set up the major incident equipment, man the various treatment posts and are given training on basic first aid.
Voluntary Care Assistants
One of the many voluntary roles in our organisation is the transfer of patients who require regular renal dialysis. The service currently has three voluntary care assistants who give up their own time to ensure the patients going for this essential treatment are at their appointments on time.
St John is one of the UKs and the islands leading youth organisations with an emphasis on teaching young people first aid. We work with children from as young as five through to eighteen. Our volunteer youth leaders help to teach our Cadets and our Badgers first aid to work towards nationally-recognised youth awards, organise weekly meetings, social activities and games.