Esperance St John Ambulance team experience busiest month on record

Heroes of the front line: The St John Ambulance Esperance Sub Centre team continue to tirelessly serve the community. Photo: Sarah Makse.
Heroes of the front line: The St John Ambulance Esperance Sub Centre team continue to tirelessly serve the community. Photo: Sarah Makse.

December marked the busiest month on record for the St John Ambulance Esperance Sub Centre with the team attending 154 call outs across the month.

With a vast bushfire complex burning in Norseman and an annual wave of summer visitors around town, the crew of more than 100 volunteers were on hand to ensure the safety of their community.

On average the sub centre will respond to up to 120 call outs a month in summer and 90 in winter, with this festive season seeing a record number of responses between Munglinup, Salmon Gums and Condingup.

The team also filled two first aid posts in Norseman for ten days during the fires, leaving less personnel available for emergencies closer to home.

Community paramedic Paul Gaughan said despite the increase in incidents, the team took the month in its stride.

"It just reminds us that we have a great bunch of people here to staff the ambulances who go to any and every emergency," he said.

"Whether it be first aid posts to ensure the safety of fire personnel or responding to medical emergencies or accidents, people just put their hand up and go the extra mile."

He said December had been a particularly difficult month for the team who faced a number of traumatic incidents.

"We are called to all sorts of accidents and some of them are really quite traumatic and the volunteers that went on those jobs were impacted, but fortunately we have good wellbeing and support services," he said.

Mr Gaughan said although they currently had more volunteers than ever before, the team were always on the lookout for on road responders and coordinators.

The centre is currently working to find a suitable location for a larger sub-centre to accommodate the growing team and provide ample space for community training.

Anyone wanting to volunteer can call 1800 069 393 or register online.