St. John Ambulance needs...you!
The volunteer opportunity of a lifetime is about to come open, as the longest-standing humanitarian organization in the world puts out the call for Branch Executive Committee (BEC) members.
The Trail branch of St John Ambulance (SJA) serves the entire Kootenay region, from Sparwood to Grand Forks; Nakusp to the U.S. border, providing a three-pronged service approach that includes their First Aid Brigade, Therapy Dog Program, and the provision of internationally-acclaimed first aid training and supplies.
“We’re looking for energetic, enthusiastic people to help guide an ambitious mandate for growth,” said BEC chair Ralph DiSabato, who added you needn’t have a background in first aid – just the desire to make a difference. “We want to see at least one person in every Kootenay household trained in SJA’s life-saving techniques. We want to see our Brigade at every community event. We want to see our therapy dogs in every care facility in the region.
“We want to make this one of the safest, healthiest places in the area.”
The venerated St John Ambulance name is a great place to start, but there’s much work yet to be done … if you’re up for the challenge.
“It’s rewarding work,” said SJA Brigade superintendent Gerry Rempel. “We meet once a month and discuss the broader goals and opportunities for the branch, decide the best avenues for realizing those goals, then divide the work according to our individual roles.”
The BEC roles include chair, vice-chair, treasurer, secretary, and brigade superintendent, although as many as four more people (for a total of nine members) may be elected to serve, allowing volunteers to focus on their individual areas of interest.
Members of the BEC do everything from grant applications and fundraising to appearances at community festivals, event planning and more. Experience on a St John Ambulance BEC is not only a fantastic resume addition – it’s an opportunity to affect genuine change.
“Our Brigade provides free first-aid coverage for community events that might not otherwise be able to take place – like the Terry Fox Run, Silver City Days and the Kootenay Festival, just to name a few,” Rempel said. “At the same time, our therapy dogs are brightening the lives of the elderly, ill and injured in our communities, and our instructors are all across the region, delivering training so high in quality that we’re the only first-aid training provider recognized by the Department of National Defense.”
The BEC does not, of course, single-handedly make this all happen – but it does help oversee the many volunteers, employees and instructors who follow it through.
“I think, traditionally, we haven’t been taken very seriously as a region, because we encompass so many smaller communities, spread out over such a huge geographical area,” said branch administrator Kyra Hoggan. “I’d like to see people come on board who are excited about our potential; about proving to ourselves, each other, and the rest of the province exactly how much we can accomplish when come together for the greater good.”
Interested parties are encouraged to contact Hoggan at 250-364-2067 or Kyra.Hoggan@bc.sja.ca for more information.