Volunteers Make an Impact by Keeping our Community Safe

Volunteer55 - St. John Ambulance

Volunteers Make an Impact by Keeping our Community Safe

What is your name and position?
Sid Bildfell, External Recruitment Officer, Kelowna Division St. John Ambulance Medical First Responders.

What is the name of your organization?
St. John Ambulance Kelowna Division 740 Medical First Responders.

What is your organization’s mission?
Saving lives at work, home and play.

Tell us about your organization.
St. John Ambulance, one of the world’s oldest humanitarian organizations, started in Canada in 1883 and British Columbia in 1911. The Kelowna division provides volunteer First Aid services to organizations and events in Kelowna and surrounding areas. We also work with other divisions in Vernon and Penticton together providing services in the Okanagan valley.

What special attributes of your volunteer program/culture would you like to highlight?
As our mission states, our volunteers are at community events to ensure that everyone has a safe time. We provide first aid services to anyone that is in need by applying the first aid skills we have developed as members of St. John Ambulance. Our members are provided continuous first aid training and volunteer with others of similar interests. Together we provide valuable health and safety services to our community.

What types of volunteer opportunities are available with your organization?
We volunteer at community events such as music festivals, sporting events, fundraisers and disaster response. This is a wonderful way to meet and support others in the community. There are many positions within the organization for those who strive for leadership roles and/or want to increase their knowledge and skills in the provision of first aid.

Are there any special requirements, timelines, or commitments you would like to let potential volunteers know about?
Recruits are required to have a current First Aid Certificate level CPR-C/AED or higher. Additional training is provided by the division at no cost to the members. Members are expected to volunteer and attend training sessions for a minimum of 60 hours per year. The members volunteer for events working around their personal schedules.

How many volunteers support your organization?
We currently have 60 members, this year to date we have provided over 3600 volunteer hours to emergency health services, vaccination centres, community events, responses to fires and flooding as examples.

Who do the volunteers interact with?
Our volunteers providing First Aid services for the community and participating in training have an opportunity to network and interact with community members with a variety of backgrounds. Examples include paramedics, university students, police officers, business leaders, retirees, and selfless individuals that just want to make a difference. We meet and support residents and guests of Kelowna with professional skills. Many of our volunteers say that volunteering is a very personal and fulfilling experience.

If I wanted to volunteer with your organization, what are the steps I would need to take?
Contact us if you have any questions at recruit.officer.div740@sjabcy.ca (recruitment officer) or csc.d0740@sjabcy.ca (community services coordinator).

Alternatively, visit our VolunteerConnector profile.

Tell us about how you have adapted your volunteer programs during the pandemic (if applicable).
All of our services and training programs have been adapted to meet COVID 19 protocols. As a provider of First Aid services, we take these requirements very seriously in the provision of services and the training of our members.

What is one of your favourite volunteering stories?
Volunteering with our organization brings many happy stories, from helping someone in medical distress to personal stories. As just one example our members are appreciated for their care and compassion in assisting the residents of Merritt and area in times of greatest need during the 2021 flooding.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/SJAKelowna
Email: recruit.officer.div740@sjabcy.ca or csc.d070@sjabc.ca or d0740@sjabcy.ca
VolunteerConnector: www.volunteerconnector.org/kelowna/st-john-ambulance-kelowna-branch
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