St John Ambulance Wodonga division seeks more volunteers

A SIGHT familiar at many Border events wants to stay that way.

CREW ON CALL: Maureen Chesser, Lauren Germany and Ethan Vilaisarn, 13, were among the Wodonga St John Ambulance crews working on the weekend. The division attends nearly 200 events a year. Picture: MARK JESSER

CREW ON CALL: Maureen Chesser, Lauren Germany and Ethan Vilaisarn, 13, were among the Wodonga St John Ambulance crews working on the weekend. The division attends nearly 200 events a year. Picture: MARK JESSER

St John Ambulance Wodonga division will hold a recruitment day on December 11, hoping more people join to help manage an increasing demand for the group’s services.

Operations officer Josh Jarrott said Wodonga was one of the busiest divisions in the state, helping out between Seymour and the NSW border.

“We cover almost 200 events a year, which puts us about number two, number three for Victoria,” he said.

The Border Relay for Life, Back to Yack, Strawberry Fields, the Kangaroo Hoppet Ski Race at Falls Creek and the Carevan corporate sleep-out are among the events crews have attended recently.

“St John is able to provide a low cost first aid service to community groups that (otherwise) might not be able to afford it,” Mr Jarrott said.

“We’re really looking for people who want to come along and experience something different, assist their community and learn new skills.”

Three Wodonga youth members received awards at the St John Ambulance Victoria presentation held at Government House in Melbourne.

Tyler Gutsche, 11, gained The Commissioners Badge, awarded to a junior member who has completed nine interest badges.

Lachlan Gutsche, 16, and Nichola Irvine, 18 earned the Grand Prior’s Award, for youth members with 12 proficiency badges and demonstrated commitment. Only four of these have gone to Wodonga division members.

Tyler said he liked helping people and also had a lot of fun at St John Ambulance.

“It makes me feel good to know that I am learning skills to possibly save someone’s life one day,” he said.

Nichola and Lachlan appreciated the opportunity to learn a variety of skills through the training.

“I have made lifelong friends through St John and what I have learnt will be with me forever, which is more than what I had hoped for when I joined,” Nichola said.

St John Ambulance Alpine regional manager Josh King said volunteering included more than duty.

“There’s also a social part of it, getting involved with people from different backgrounds and different experiences,” he said.

Being trained to deal with unexpected situations could also bring wider benefits.

“So if you are exposed to it in your own personal life you are better prepared as well,” Mr King said. 

Potential volunteers should visit stjohnvolunteering.com.au to register before December 5 for the information session. No prior skills are required.

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