Finding her true calling in St John
Kibblewhite is the Balclutha St
John station manager.
The former Timaru girl left school young, and was unsure what she wanted to do. However, the turning point came when she was working in a rest home laundry. A resident choked.
‘‘There was no ambulance available. The man then went into respiratory arrest, and lucky we managed to revive him. I was meant to go into Timaru Hospital the next day and sign a contract for a casual position. Instead of signing my new contract I went to St John and signed up to be a volunteer. I figured people needed me more than I needed the extra money of the casual job. I have never looked back.’’
She went on to get nursing and paramedical qualifications. Women definitely have advantage in St John work, Mel says.
‘‘Sometimes we attend calls that the patient feels more comfortable with a woman doing a particular assessment and it’s great to be able to make them feel that little bit more comfortable.
The young mum has some key advice for young women: ‘‘Do it! If you are passionate about it you will succeed. A career in the emergency services is incredibly rewarding.’’