St John Ambulance desperately need more volunteers

Ready to help: Warrnambool's Ashley Body, 19, has been volunteering with St John Ambulance since she left school. Picture: Amy Paton
Ready to help: Warrnambool's Ashley Body, 19, has been volunteering with St John Ambulance since she left school. Picture: Amy Paton

St John Ambulance is desperate for more Warrnambool volunteers with the organisation struggling to cover events.

Warrnambool divisional manager Rachael Spinks said there were only six active members in Warrnambool and they would be thrilled if more people would join their team.

“We’re struggling to cover our local events at the moment,” she said.

Warrnambool’s Ashley Body, 19, signed up 18 months ago after finishing school and volunteers once a month at some of the 58 events they cover across the region.

“My very first event was my most full-on. Forty minutes into my first event we had someone go into cardiac arrest,” she said. “That was a very hard day. It was full on, but it solidified in my head that this is what I want to do.”

Ashley said that much of the time the work involved putting on Band-Aids, offering sunscreen or helping people who have been on one too many carnival rides.

However, she said there was a saying that for the 20 hours that you’re there and do nothing, it’s the 10 minutes where it hits the fan where you make a difference. “I just love volunteering,” she said.

Ashley said that she applied online and completed a two-day first-aid course paid for by St John Ambulance to become a member.

She said while you can do more levels of training, you just need the basics to join. 

While Ashley volunteers south-west events, she can apply to volunteers at AFL games and music concerts in Melbourne. People can start volunteering from age 12.