From penguin helper to fully trained EMT
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.