After a three month shutdown due to COVID-19, the local St. John Ambulance Terrace Division 1289 is getting ready to resume activities.
“Our volunteers have shown great commitment these past few unpredictable months, and have truly missed heading out on their usual duties,” said Jane Short, director of community services for St. John Ambulance BC & Yukon in a media release.
“They are prepared and excited to get back to keeping their communities safe and spreading so much joy.”
Due to the pandemic, St. John Ambulance stopped offering its therapy dog, medical first responder and youth programs. As a charity, St. John Ambulance operates on donations, community support and proceeds from training courses and safety products.
St. John Ambulance Terrace District Superintendent Murray Hamer stayed active during the pause. Starting in May, he made use of his pilot’s licence and job with Ocean Pacific Air, delivering medical supplies and COVID-19 test kits to Haida Gwaii for Northern Health.
“I did ask my area commissioner if I could fly the flag and wear my St. John uniform as I am trying to build the Division 1289 Terrace and Area,” he said in an email.
“I felt by representing St. John Ambulance Brigade this would let people know what we are capable of as a team and in helping in our communities when emergencies such as this arise.”
In Terrace, St. John Ambulance offers training and safety kits. The volunteer arm consists of 9 active members either Advanced Medical First Responder certified or St. John first aid certified. Those with first aid certification are supervised by the advanced medical first responders.
They attend sporting events, festivals, parades and other recreational events. They are equipped with a tent and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automated external defibrillator (AED) equipment to provide first aid care or emergency response.
The volunteers are also able to assist officials during natural disasters like wildfires, offering first aid and evacuation support.
Division 1289 will be restarting its first aid training with several precautions in place. Students and staff are asked for a self-declaration about COVID-19 symptoms upon arrival. Students are asked to bring their own masks to courses and physical distancing will be enforced and there will be enhanced sanitizing.
Emergency First Aid for industry, Emergency First Aid: Community Care, Standard First Aid with CPR-C-AED, CPR with AED level three and Transportation endorsement courses have dates open to book at the Terrace branch.
St. John Ambulance has operated in B.C. since 1911. It trains more than 65,000 students in CPR and first aid each year.