Become a volunteer and save lives
With Karratha being a rather transient population with people that move in and out of the town quite regularly and we, like many of the employers in town, find that we have people leaving for opportunities in other places.
St John’s Ambulance paramedic Dave Joseph also has noticed a number of the towns volunteers leaving to join St John Ambulance as full-time paid paramedics where they will initially do their training in Perth then hopefully be back out into the country regions.
“I believe people who are community minded and want to give back to their community could join St John Ambulance where they will learn skills that will remain with them for a very long time,” he said.
“It is a very rewarding path to take, making a difference for someone and having them thank you later on is something that can’t be put into words.
“People can start the road to becoming a volunteer ambulance officer by participating in at least four training nights, which are held on Mondays between 7pm and 9.30pm at the Karratha sub-centre.
“This allows the person to see if this is what they want to do.
“After four weeks they will be asked to fill out an application form which is processed in Perth, have a police check, etc, then they get a volunteer officer number which allows them to ride on the ambulances as an observer, again to see if it’s what they want.
“Once the person is sure they want to continue on the volunteer path they are put through courses that are designed to give them the necessary skills to crew the local ambulance.”
Dave said his life has changed dramatically in the 18 years he has been a paramedic.
“There is no better feeling than being the person to make a difference to somebody’s life doing what you’ve been trained to do,” he said.
“Sometimes there is nothing you can do for the patient but it may be making a cuppa for a relative and making a phone call on their behalf – the sense of appreciation can’t be described.
“I love my job.”
He said people will learn all sorts of things as volunteers, not only learning first aid skills, they learn people skills.
“They will learn how to talk to people in their most vulnerable moments,” he siad.
“They will share the joys of delivering a baby with the parents, they will hold the hand of someone who’s frightened about what’s happening to them.
“The role is so diversified that no two calls are the same, and you learn something new on every job.
“Employers may also look favourably on a person who is a volunteer ambulance officer and the career paths that are opened through the role can be diverse.”
For more information on becoming a volunteer call Dave Joseph on 9185 5686.