The paramedics who volunteer their time for St John Malvern. Back L to R: Ross Meder, Mel Thompson, Ian Rex (Territory Manager), Lisa Redmond, Lynda Walter, Peter Cattell, Nic Menary, Joost Kepers, Alex Paterson, Michael Judd, Charles Ellis, Katie Tozer. Front L to R: Janet Taege, Rachel Redmond, Anne Wilson, Jill Hill, Brian Westwood, Candace McGirr, Michelle Kittelty, Jude Westwood. 
Absent: Jane Potts, Matt Forrester, Helen Trushin.

100% Volunteer Station

15.03.2018

It is the end of an era for St John Malvern, as Jill Hill recently resigned as Station Manager after twenty years of service in the role.

New Station Manager, Brian Westwood said, “Jill has committed an extraordinary amount of time and energy in making sure the Malvern area is well served by the local service. A service, which locally, is comprised entirely of volunteers.

“It has been a period of considerable change, with earthquakes and new station build, Brian commented. And throughout, St John continue to evolve its systems and procedures to become more effective, while also meeting increasing compliance  demands.”

St John Youth has been introduced to Darfield during this period and has gone from strength to strength, now boasting fifty-three members and seven youth leaders.

Brian, the St John Malvern’s new Station Manager,  is a long time volunteer, with twenty-three year’s of service to the area as a paramedic.

“I have two main goals as Manager,” he explained. “The first is to make sure the Station operates in a way that makes it easy for the amazing volunteer staff to focus on what they are here for. That is to help the people in our community when they need it most. The second is to grow that base of volunteers so we can continue to provide a strong service to the community both now and into the foreseeable future. That requires us to be actively and constantly looking for new recruits.”

A lot goes into running an effective 24/7 ambulance service. From ensuring life saving equipment is 100% ready to go, to regulatory issues regarding medicine usage and the extensive training everyone receives. St John Malvern is also part of a much larger team. The Darfield ambulance is expected to be able to operate anywhere, to the same high standards as any ambulance on the road, volunteer or paid, urban or rural, there is no difference.

In 2017 St John Malvern attended over 850 callouts.

“There is no pattern to it either,” Brian commented.

“Some days there are no callouts and on others, crews seldom get back to the Station.” As St John takes patient confidentiality extremely seriously, they are also reluctant to shout about the work they do.

The shift in population in recent years has made a considerable difference to the volume of work and St John is hopeful that this same shift will also see some new people join the local service.

Many in the district do not realise the Darfield Station is a 100% volunteer Station. With that comes an increasingly unique opportunity to get involved in what is an incredibly interesting, sometimes exciting and always satisfying experience.

On April 7th St John Malvern are holding a recruitment day at the Darfield Station. This will be a fantastic opportunity for anyone in the community to come and find out more about becoming a St John Volunteer for ambulance, events, or youth.

See the advertisement for further details of the open day.