Esperance Sub Centre faces shortage of volunteers

Staff and volunteers at the St John Ambulance Esperance Sub Centre are calling on the community for support. Photo: Jake Dietsch.
Staff and volunteers at the St John Ambulance Esperance Sub Centre are calling on the community for support. Photo: Jake Dietsch.

The St John Ambulance Esperance Sub Centre is calling on the community for help as it faces dwindling volunteer numbers.

Acting community paramedic Zac Hill said the centre was still providing a 24/7, high-quality emergency service, but the beginning of winter had resulted in a reduced crew.

"We are looking for people of all ages and all levels of experience that can bring their own unique skills and personalities to the depot," Mr Hill said.

"There are spots on the roster that we need people to help us fill."

Mr Hill said while patients had not been affected by the decrease in numbers at the centre, volunteers had been impacted with less people to spread the workload.

"At winter time, people leave time to go chasing the sun," he said.

"That leaves a core group of volunteers in town.

"They are doing more and more shifts and doing more and more hours to fill the roster.

"The flu season also kicks in, and it's been a particularly bad season, so we are getting more jobs."

Mr Hill said responding to emergency situations was only a small part of the work of St Johns.

"It's not all emergency lights and sirens, time-critical situations.There are plenty of community health responsibilities," he said.

"People who just want to take on a driving role, there are options for that.

"If people are hesitant to join the ambulance service because they think they're going to be exposed to trauma all the time, they don't need to be hesitant."

Mr Hill said volunteers chose their availability and the centre was only asking for as much as each individual could give.

Prior to being sent to respond to an emergency, volunteers are given extensive training.

This includes attaining a first aid certificate, 30 hours of observing and being assigned a mentor.

To join St John, you must be over the age of 18 and have your full license.

For more information on joining the Esperance Sub Centre please call (08) 9071 1618.