Esperance St John Ambulance will mark their 60 year anniversary

St John Ambulance Esperance Sub Centre chairperson Denise Lane and kit sales and service officer Karla Jones outside the first aid service vehicle. Photo: Jake Dietsch.
St John Ambulance Esperance Sub Centre chairperson Denise Lane and kit sales and service officer Karla Jones outside the first aid service vehicle. Photo: Jake Dietsch.

The St John Ambulance Esperance Sub Centre are celebrating 60 years of service with an interactive open day on Saturday March 17.

The Sub Centre was formed in Esperance on July 29, 1958, with the centre receiving its first ambulance in February 1959.

Esperance Sub Centre chairperson Denise Lane said she hoped as many people as possible would come to celebrate the ‘major, massive milestone’.

“We’ve gone from a group of like minded people who realised Esperance was growing and that they needed an ambulance,” she said.

“We’ve had about five building upgrades over the decades.”

Ms Lane said the centre responded to a minimum of 100 jobs per month, and an average of between 1200 and 1400 jobs per year.

“We've got one community paramedic and the rest is all staffed by volunteers, and most of the volunteers do work,” she said.

As the Esperance population expanded, the centre had developed sub branches.

“There is one each at Condingup, Munglinup and Salmon Gums,” Ms Lane said.

“Each one of those has a shed with an ambulance in it.

“They are there to service the public who are on the highways and the farming communities, and they are staffed by volunteers.”

The Esperance Sub Centre funds 10 vehicles in total, not counting the community paramedic’s car.

These include four regular ambulances at the Esperance centre, a four-wheel-drive for beach and bush emergencies, and an emergency trailer for multiple-victim incidents such as a plane crash.

“[The open day] is one way we want the community to see what our St John Sub Centre is all about,” Ms Lane said.

The St John Ambulance centre on Windich Street. Photo: Jake Dietsch.

The St John Ambulance centre on Windich Street. Photo: Jake Dietsch.

She said families would receive a free first aid kit once they complete the activities at the work stations.

“They will get a passport, as they go to each workstation they’ll have their passport stamped.

“Once you collect all the stamps, your family will be receiving a first aid kit.

“We have 400 free first aid kits to give away, generously donated by IGO mining.”

Ms Lane said the workstations would teach people about CPR, defibrillators, first aid and about avoiding and responding to dangers.

“We’re running workshops on simple things like washing your hands, we’ve got a germ station,” she said.

“We've got a big colouring in competition, which is out in schools at the moment.

“There’s prizes for every year in each school.”

Kit sales and service officer Karla Jones said people attending the stations would be able to go a virtual ambulance call-out.

“People get to sit there and see a call out from start to finish,” she said.

“It’s to create awareness around what bystanders can do before we get there, and how much our centre has contributed to the local community and how much we appreciate the community.”

The Open Day runs from 10am till 3pm at the Esperance Sub Centre.

Ms Lane said the pull from the business community had been absolutely fabulous in the way they came on board with sponsorships and prizes.

There will be prizes at each station, with the grand prize a return flight to Perth for two from Rex airlines.

A Rex spokesperson said one of the key values of the company was a commitment to giving back to the communities they served.

“We acknowledge St John Ambulance’s profound contribution as a provider of critical country ambulance services,” the spokesperson said.

“We hope the Open Day will prove a wonderful opportunity for the community to see first hand the work of the St John Esperance Sub Centre and celebrate this milestone together.”

To view the event’s Facebook page click here.