We believe every team member is integral to our success, whether in ambulance operations, marketing, training or HR. We all play our part in being the difference between a life saved and a life lost.
We are driven by our values of Humanity, Excellence, Accountability, Responsiveness and Teamwork. These values were created by our people at St John Ambulance and they identify how we act. We set our people up for success and many people in the team have had the opportunity to work in a wide variety of roles. For passionate individuals, there are strong opportunities for advancement, training and personal development.
Rebecca Wright - Emergency Ambulance Crew
When, where and why did you join St John Ambulance?
About three years ago, I was at university and looking for a new society to join. One of my friends recommended St John and I joined as a student volunteer at the University of London. Initially I was a First aider, then an Advanced First Aider and now I’m Emergency Ambulance Crew.
What does your role involve?
We attend 999 calls in crews of two and take it in turns to drive as we’re blue light trained. We can both provide clinical assessment, observations, medicate if we can, administer gas, take them to hospital or discharge if we see fit.
We’re there to help out the ambulance service on jobs that don’t need paramedic intervention. We have a lot of clinical governance, and we’re given freedom to work out what we need to do with patients.
I also volunteer as Emergency Ambulance Crew at big events. I’ve been to the British Summertime Festival, Robbie Williams, Lewes Fireworks and loads more.
Have you been involved in any first aid emergencies?
Yes, quite a few. Several cardiac arrests, a few traumas, fractured limbs, a fully broken arm, fractured femur and lots of seizures.
Have you been involved in any first aid emergencies?
As a student paramedic and ambulance crew, I’ve dealt with many serious incidents, but one I recall is when I was volunteering as part of the Medical Response Team at the Lewes Fireworks festival. Someone with diabetes collapsed in the street and had reduced consciousness. As a team, we took observations on him, discovering his blood sugar levels were dangerously low so we gave him glucose and monitored him until an ambulance crew arrived. It was a small intervention but with those crowds and the level of noise – fire crackers were going off everywhere – our patient would have deteriorated. Without prompt treatment he may have fallen unconscious or gone hypothermic due to the cold. I say this regularly to my student volunteers – first aid given properly saves lives.
What are the main challenges of your role?
Working with a large range of people in stressful situations can be challenging. We’re with people on the worst days of their lives. We have to take control and calm it down and that’s not always easy.
The job can be difficult when you see something that reminds you of an upsetting incident from your own life. It can be quite emotional when you attend a traumatic scene.
Are there any particular moments or memories which sum up why you do this role or that have been particularly rewarding or emotional?
I often transport end of life patients and that feels like a real honour and privilege to be there for them. We’re taking them somewhere, such as a hospice, where they can have a more comfortable existence, and it’s a help to their relatives as well.
Has your volunteer role helped you learn any skills that help you in your personal or working life?
It definitely has, I’m now a student paramedic! Volunteering with St John led me to a change of career, from design to healthcare.
It’s also been great for my confidence. As Emergency Ambulance Crew, you have to take action and be in control of a situation straight away.
Why have you changed your career course?
I studied product design at university because I wanted to make stuff that was helpful. I researched technology to help save lives at sea and also worked on major bleed kits. However, through my St John volunteering, I decided the desk life was not for me and I preferred to see lives saved in front of me!
What do you love best about being part of St John?
I love how keen and lovely the volunteers are, everyone is there to do the right thing. We’re out there helping our communities. We send out an important message – people who have first aid administered have a much better chance of survival.
Why do you think people should volunteer as EAC?
It’s a really good way of helping the NHS and the wider community. Every day has so much variety, you’re meeting completely different people in completely different situations all the time. It’s often completely different from your day job, though not mine obviously! And you meet some great people along the way.
Andrew Foster - Lead Customer Service Advisor
When did you join St John?
I began life at St John Ambulance in 2013 as a customer service advisor within the old North West commercial division. Despite the old adage of a nervous first day in a new job, I was made to feel at home immediately thanks to the warm welcome the team gave me! That has something that has stood out to me in my time within St John and that’s the people. They are always supportive and aren’t just colleagues but friends too.
How has your career progressed?
12 months, a business restructure, and an interview later I moved across into the newly formed Major Accounts customer service team. As an experienced member of the team, myself and my line manager guided a new team to help deliver the excellent service our valued customers have come to expect.
Since then, I have completed a Development Programme within St John which was an excellent experience, helping me develop my leadership skills and meeting other great, motivated people within the organisation at the same time!
In August last year I became lead customer service advisor for major accounts. This new role gives me the opportunity to lead, motivate, and share the values I am passionate about with my team, the same values I was afforded when I first started my career within the charity.
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