COURTENAY, B.C. – St. John’s Ambulance needs you – and soon.

According to Division Superintendent Ben Douglas, the St. John Ambulance brigade in the Comox Valley needs more active members to sign up this year to meet the demands of public duty requests.

“Currently we are sitting at 15 active patient care members,” Douglas said. “The demands for first aid coverage at public events are increasing every year and we’ve had to turn some events down due to lack of personnel to cover them.”

Douglas told the newsroom that the need for volunteers is desperate.

“The numbers that we have currently, we would not be able to meet the demands for next year,” he said. “We’ve lost two in the medical profession and hopefully when they graduate, they will return, but we need at least 15 to 20 more (volunteers) to meet the demands for next year and especially for next summer.”

Three other auxiliary (non-patient) positions are also needed.

The division needs:

  • a community service co-ordinator to take event requests and determines the availability of coverage;
  • an equipment manager to look after first aid supplies and maintain the division vehicle;
  • and an administrative assistant.

St. John Ambulance provides first aid at community events and trains volunteers at the advanced medical first responder level at no charge.

The organization works with Emergency Social Services to provide first aid to the walking injured.

Brigade members provided first aid to evacuees and volunteers during the  B.C. wildfire season.

The organization has also provided services at national and international disasters.

The adult brigade trains Thursday evenings from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at #84 – 1742 Cliffe Avenue. Applications are required to pass a criminal record check to vulnerability sector screening level. Most of the uniform is provided at no cost to members.

For more information or to volunteer, email Douglas at [email protected] or call 250-702-5480.

Douglas said the training can open doors in terms of employment opportunities.

“People use us as stepping stones,” he said. “We have a number of our individuals that have gone through us and then carried on and became paramedics with BC Ambulance and other agencies including not only B.C. but in Alberta and Saskatchewan.”