Mammoth flood relief effort by St. John Ambulance volunteers
Volunteers gave 3,948 hours on a total of 332 shifts in Echuca, Shepparton, Tatura, Rochester and Bendigo, as well as the emergency command center, between October 15 and November 9.
For each shift, two volunteer members were stationed to provide patient care for 12 hours at a time.
A total of 57 volunteers served statewide at disaster relief centers, while 33 members were deployed to the emergency command center to assist with communications, logistics and planning.
Across all centres, St. John Ambulance volunteers treated 647 patients for a range of clinical and non-clinical needs – from attending to first aid incidents, including two heart conditions, to providing psychological support.
St John Ambulance Victoria chief executive Gordon Botwright said this rapid response was only possible thanks to the organisation’s network of volunteers, equipment and facilities across the state, which is being put in place Placed by St John Ambulance Victoria and funded almost entirely without any state, federal or local government funding.
“To ensure that this response network is ready for emergencies such as fires, floods and pandemics, we instead rely on the support and generosity of our donors and the public and businesses that purchase training from us or products,” Botwright said.
“We have called on the Andrews government and the opposition to support our emergency preparedness, but we have no funding commitments yet to support this important work.”
With over 1800 volunteers across the state, St John Ambulance Victoria is the only first aid provider able to respond within hours with first aid support and field hospitals for communities affected by emergencies such as fires bush, floods and pandemics.