St John Ambulance in Western Australia covers the largest area of any single ambulance service in the world – 2,525,500 square kilometres or 33% of the total landmass of Australia. 

There are 160 St John Ambulance locations operating in country WA stretching from Christmas Island to Albany, Esperance, Eucla and Wyndham. The area is serviced by over 2000 dedicated volunteer ambulance officers and 70 paramedics, who travel in excess of 1.6 million kilometres within the country area annually, transporting over 32,000 people.

Country Ambulance Service

St John Ambulance in Western Australia covers the largest area of any single ambulance service in the world – 2,525,500 square kilometres or 33% of the total landmass of Australia.

There are 160 St John Ambulance locations operating in country WA stretching from Christmas Island to Albany, Esperance, Eucla and Wyndham.

The area is serviced by over 2000 dedicated volunteer ambulance officers and 70 paramedics, who travel in excess of 1.6 million kilometres within the country area annually, transporting over 32,000 people.

The Volunteer Model in Country WA

In country WA, St John Ambulance Sub Centres are responsible for the delivery of ambulance services in their community.

There are 104 country Sub Centres which are staffed entirely by volunteer ambulance officers and 12 country Sub Centres with a mix of volunteer and career ambulance officers.

St John Ambulance believes that the Volunteer Model that operates the country ambulance service, whereby the service is run by volunteers, is the most beneficial model for people living in country WA as it ensures that there is an ambulance service in most towns.

Comparatively, if St John Ambulance acquired a full Paramedic Model, whereby the ambulance service in country WA was staffed by career paramedics, it would only be possible for the larger towns to have an ambulance service, thus the smaller towns would not have an ambulance service at all.

In the larger country areas where population and ambulance call outs are high, career paramedics work alongside volunteer ambulance officers to provide the ambulance service for these communities. These areas include Albany, Broome, Bunbury, Busselton, Collie, Geraldton, Hedland, Kalgoorlie, Mandurah, Northam, Norseman and Pinjarra.

In all country areas, St John Ambulance provides the infrastructure to support an ambulance service for these communities. This includes assisting with the provision of ambulances, equipment, sub centres, adequate training for volunteers and support by Regional Managers.

The role of Volunteers

Country Volunteer Ambulance Officer

Volunteer ambulance officers are one of our most precious community resources, helping to ensure that the country communities of WA have access to high quality ambulance services and facilities. Major duties of a volunteer ambulance officer include:

  • Providing quality ambulance care and transport for the sick and injured.
  • Transferring patients between hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and, sometimes, the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
  • Transporting patients with medical conditions from their homes to a hospital or medical centre.
  • Responding swiftly and efficiently to emergency calls within the community.
  • Attending sporting fixtures such as races or football matches where we are contracted to do so.

Support roles

There are many volunteer roles that are vital to the ongoing success of a Sub Centre. These include administration duties, vehicle and building maintenance, public relations, fundraising, social coordinator or committee members.

All of these roles contribute to providing an efficient and high quality ambulance service to country communities.


Training for Volunteer Ambulance Officers

Volunteer ambulance officers receive the highest quality training which equips them with the essential basic and intermediate life support skills to assist them in stabilising patients en route to hospital.

St John Ambulance provides training at the Sub Centre for all volunteers and training is conducted to a level at which the volunteer will feel comfortable, confident and ready for the road.

In addition to the initial training, an ongoing skills maintenance program for volunteers is also provided at the local Sub Centre.

Different training levels are available, giving volunteers the flexibility to choose the level of training they wish to achieve.

The following courses are provided free of charge to all volunteer ambulance officers:

Level 1 – Introduction to Ambulance Care – this course trains people with senior first aid qualifications to a minimum level where they can assist qualified volunteer ambulance officers with some ambulance calls. It forms the first 16 hours (one weekend) of the Primary Ambulance Care course.

Primary ambulance care (PAC) course – this 64-hour course trains people to become a volunteer ambulance officer. Participants who successfully complete the PAC course are able to stabilise most injuries in the field, as well as manage and transport ill and injured patients. This course is conducted over four (usually non consecutive) weekends.

Advanced ambulance care (AAC) course – this course is available only to volunteer ambulance officers qualified in the PAC course. Conducted over two days, the AAC course reinforces skills taught in the PAC course and additional information and skills are covered. Upon successful completion of the AAC course, ambulance officers are certified to use some advanced life support skills.

Volunteer ambulance officer refresher course - volunteer ambulance officers who have passed the AAC course renew their qualifications after three years by attending this refresher course conducted over one or two weekends.

St John Ambulance volunteers can also undertake other training courses, including volunteer skills weekends, a volunteer ambulance officer driving course, a skills knowledge and maintenance programme and Certificate 4 in health science.

Benefits of being a Volunteer

Volunteering can be a very rewarding experience. You not only get the satisfaction of knowing you are helping others in your community, but there are benefits for you as well. As a St John Ambulance volunteer, you will:

  • Learn invaluable skills that remain with you for life
  • Join a great team of dedicated, like-minded people
  • Develop leadership skills
  • Be an integral part of an organisation that safeguards the health of your community
  • Meet new friends and have fun
  • Open up new career opportunities
  • If you have a bit of spare time, like a challenge and would like to give back to the community you live in, find out about becoming a country ambulance volunteer today by phoning 1800 069 393 or click here to complete the online form.

FIRST AID COURSES

HLTAID003 Provide first aid - 1 day
Thu Dec 13 @ 8:30AM - 04:30PM
HLTAID001 Provide CPR
Thu Dec 13 @ 8:30AM - 12:00PM

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