Vol­un­teers praised for a job well done

Harvey-Waroona Reporter - - FRONT PAGE - David Charlesworth

St John Am­bu­lance Har­vey sub-sta­tion was sin­gled out for its ser­vice to the com­mu­nity this month as a fi­nal­ist for Sub-sta­tion of the Year and five mem­bers were re­warded for long ser­vice. Chair­man Chris Sabourne said the num­ber of vol­un­teers across the ser­vice was drop­ping due to chal­lenges am­bu­lance vol­un­teers have to face on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.

DECADES of ser­vice to keep Har­vey safe was recog­nised last week with St John Am­bu­lance long ser­vice medals awarded and Har­vey named a fi­nal­ist for sub-cen­tre of the year.

Har­vey sub-cen­tre chair­man Chris Sabourne said it was the first time in his 22 years at the sub-cen­tre it had been a fi­nal­ist for the award.

“It’s a good recog­ni­tion for all the hard work that been done over the years,” he said.

On the same night, six Har­vey vol­un­teers were recog­nised for their long ser­vice to the com­mu­nity with Ser­vice Medals, awarded for 12 years of ser­vice, and Bar Awards, given for ev­ery sub­se­quent five years.

Wendy Fry was awarded a Ser­vice Medal, John Har­risonBrown and Lyn Hen­der­son their First Bar for 17 years, Mr Sabourne and Kerry Davis their Sec­ond Bar for 22 years and Ian Jones his Fourth Bar for 30 years of ser­vice.

“There have been a fair few mem­bers over the years but a lot of us have been here for some time,” Mr Sabourne said.

“It’s not some­thing you go into it for, you got to help the com­mu­nity and if you get recog­nised along the way that’s good.”

Mr Sabourne said the Har­vey sub-cen­tre re­sponded to 733 jobs last year, down by about 100 on the year be­fore.

This comes as a re­port from St John Am­bu­lance said the level of train­ing of­fered to its clin­i­cal vol­un­teers is equal to that un­der­taken by ca­reer paramedics in big ur­ban ar­eas of North Amer­ica and Europe.

How­ever, Mr Sabourne said it was be­com­ing harder to find vol­un­teers.

“We’re find­ing it harder and harder to re­cruit peo­ple to come in and do it be­cause they see the trauma and think ‘this is not for me’ or peo­ple’s lives change.”

Mr Sabourne said it took a spe­cial kind of per­son to do am­bu­lance work.

“Some­one that cares be­cause you’re deal­ing with peo­ple in your own com­mu­nity which is prob­a­bly one of the hard­est things,” he said.

“If you care for your com­mu­nity it’s a good thing to get into.”

Pic­ture David Charlesworth

Pic­ture David Charlesworth

Har­vey st John Am­bu­lance sub­cen­tre chair­man Chris Sabourne in­spects one of their am­bu­lances be­fore it goes out on pa­trol.

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