From pen­guin helper to fully trained EMT

Hauraki Herald - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - JILL CLEAVE

Help­ing out when he took his daugh­ters to St John Am­bu­lance cadets has led one Thames man into a valu­able vol­un­teer role in the com­mu­nity.

Shane Dev­er­ill, 46, is a drain­layer with a dif­fer­ence - he is also a fully qual­i­fied Emer­gency Med­i­cal Tech­ni­cian which means he can take an am­bu­lance out on his own and deal with any emer­gency sit­u­a­tion which may come his way.

He said a lit­tle over four years ago he de­cided, af­ter tak­ing the girls to cadets for two years, to do a first aid course as it might be use­ful for work.

‘‘I went home with a vol­un­teer pack as I had signed up for ob­server shifts,’’ he said.

Daugh­ters Stacey, 18, and Larissa, 15, started out as cadets go­ing from Pen­guins to Gold cadets over the years. Stacey was named Dis­trict Cadet of the Year 2017 and has her Grand Prior Award.

Shane said the Grand Prior was the only award which could trans­fer through the ranks to adult vol­un­teer.

‘‘Stacey had to de­cide at 18 whether to leave St John or trans­fer to be­come an adult mem­ber. She is now a Youth Leader and First Re­spon­der and will be go­ing to AUT next year to study para-medicine and ob­tain a Bach­e­lor of Health, a three-year course,’’ he said.

‘‘Larissa is a Gold cadet and work­ing to­wards her Grand Prior Award,’’ he said.

‘‘My jour­ney has been a won­der­ful ex­pe­ri­ence. It may sound like a cliche but to know you have made a dif­fer­ence to some­one in a time of need is a good feel­ing.’’

Shane went from ob­server to First Re­spon­der af­ter be­ing taught the skills for each stage by St John in six months. He was then ap­proached by the man­ager at Thames St John and asked if he wanted to do the Na­tional Di­ploma In Am­bu­lance Prac­tice.

He said he went home and had dis­cus­sions with the fam­ily as it was a two-year com­mit­ment.

‘‘My wife Sharon, who pro­vides the sup­port be­hind the scenes for all of us, and I talked it over and I am now an Emer­gency Med­i­cal Tech­ni­cian,’’ he said.

He said this was a stage he will stay at for a while as the step be­tween EMT and Para­medic is huge.

He said any­one think­ing about vol­un­teer­ing for St John should give it a go.

‘‘It does not need to be a huge com­mit­ment, two 12-hour shifts per month help­ing at events, or on the desk or out with the am­bos. Ev­ery lit­tle bit helps so don’t be put off try­ing,’’ he said.

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