Ambulances & Paramedics
With the changing expectations and demands on emergency ambulance services, taking medical treatment to patients is a challenge St John in the Bailiwick of Guernsey has to face. Being the only emergency ambulance service on Guernsey, we have a vital role to play in addressing these challenges and ensuring all of our patients get the right care, in the right place at the right time. Our mission statement is clear:-
“We will provide a high standard of care when taking medical treatment to the community we serve”.
St John responds to over 4,000 emergency calls each year including calls to the neighbouring smaller Channel Islands.
Care and medical treatment is delivered by a small staff of 16 State Registered Paramedics and 24 Emergency Medical Technicians all qualified to United Kingdom NHS standards.
St John, in Guernsey, responds to 999 calls and requests for immediate response by clinicians. All ambulance vehicles are dispatched through a joing emergency control centre which also deploys the St John Rescue teams.
Ambulances are equipped to NHS standards with a variety of medical equipment including oxygen, suction, spinal immobilisation, analgesia, other life-saving drugs, cardiac monitoring and defibrillators.
St John also provides a patient transport service, transferring 7,000 non-emergency patients each year.
The fleet of ambulance and rescue vehicles, some of which are multi-functional, comprise of:-
Rapid response cars
4×4 rescue response vehicles
- Command vehicle
- PTS vehicles, including a Bariatric capability
- Delivery vehicles for the St John Health Care Shop
Community First Responders
The challenge of delivering Basic Life Support (BLS) and defibrillation to patients suffering from a life-threatening condition in the first few minutes has brought about many changes in the ‘out of hospital’ care environment. The evidence is clear; a patient who suffers a cardiac arrest stands a much better chance of survival if a fully trained person with a defibrillator can attend the patient in the first minutes of collapse.
The following sequence of events has become known as the “Chain of Survival”
- Early Access (to activate the emergency services)
- Early Basic Life Support (CPR)
- Early Defibrillation
- Early Advanced Care (paramedic intervention)
We are jointly working to provide the second link in the chain in the form of good CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation), by delivering Basic Life Support training to the community through the St John Training Services Centre. Responders provide the third link in the chain of survival, offering early defibrillation and other life-saving intervention. Research has shown that if a cardiac arrest victim is defibrillated immediately their chances of survival are 85%. These odds decrease by 10% with every minute that passes without treatment.
A Community First Responder is someone 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 community 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.
We have volunteers to act as community responders who are now equipped and ready to respond. These volunteers come from various backgrounds including St John Ambulance members, first aid instructors, a nurse and a Paramedic.