Volunteers needed to help sub-centre

Karen HuntManjimup-Bridgetown Times
St John Bridgetown subcentre chairman John Jones, right, is keen to encourage a younger generation of volunteers such as Emily Rae, left.
Camera IconSt John Bridgetown subcentre chairman John Jones, right, is keen to encourage a younger generation of volunteers such as Emily Rae, left. Credit: Karen Hunt

Bridgetown St John Ambulance celebrated its 85th anniversary – and the achievements of the past decade – at Bridgetown Gardens on July 28.

About 50 people at the anniversary dinner received a booklet recording highlights for the sub-centre in the years since 2007.

However, interim chairman John Jones – who has served St John for 58 years – noted concerns about the loss of senior volunteers including his predecessor Craig Sisson.

“We got nine new volunteers in the past 12 months, but we’ve lost eight senior members, that’s the way it goes,” Mr Jones said.

“(But) we have had a few younger ones in their 30s and 40s come in, so that’s good.”

The Bridgetown sub-centre’s achievements over the past decade include the opening of its new $1 million building in 2007 and a $250,000 extension in 2016.

The extension added a training room, office and storage space that doubles as bedrooms to accommodate volunteers on the emergency call-out roster.

But while the sub-centre is in a strong position financially – mainly due to money received for carrying out transfers between regional hospitals – the need for new recruits remains.

Call-outs have increased over the decade from 232 in the 2008-09 financial year to 643 for 2017-18, an increase of 64 per cent, Mr Jones said.

“Our workload’s certainly got heavier,” he said. “In the last year it’s gone up to about 1.7 call outs a day. We’re busy almost every day of the year.”

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