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4,000 Hours of 24/7 Flood Relief from St John Ambulance Volunteers

A total of 90 St John Ambulance Victoria volunteers have just completed a mammoth three-and-a-half-week deployment of 24/7 flood relief across Victoria.  

Between 15th October and 9th November volunteers gave up 3,948 hours in a total of 332 shifts at Echuca, Shepparton, Tatura, Rochester, and Bendigo, as well as the Emergency Command Centre. 

For each shift, two volunteer members were stationed to provide patient care for 12 hours at a time. Altogether, 57 volunteers served across the state at relief centres, while 33 members were deployed to our Emergency Command Centre to facilitate communications, logistics and planning. 

Across the 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 cardiac-related issues, to providing psychological support.

This fast response is only possible due to our network of volunteers, equipment, and facilities across the state, which is put in place by St John Ambulance Victoria and funded almost entirely without any state, federal, or local government funding.

To ensure we have this response network 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 who purchase training or products from us. We have been calling on the Andrews Government and the Opposition to support our emergency readiness, however, as yet have no commitments on any funding to support this important work.

With over 1,800 volunteers across the state, St John Ambulance Victoria is the only first aid provider able to respond within mere hours with first aid support and field hospitals for communities affected by emergencies like bushfires, floods, and pandemics.

An Ambulance Victoria team member in South Gippsland commended all involved in the response

I would like to commend the work that was performed by St John Ambulance Australia staff at the Shepparton relief centre during the recent floods campaign. St John Volunteers became an integral part of my Management Team as they were my main contact for the 15 days during my deployment. Without out their help and input I would not have been able to function or perform my duties to the level I did. Anything that I required was only a phone call away and no task was below them, they brought everyone together. I look forward to working with volunteers from your organisation in the future

96 St John Volunteers also provided thousands of hours on the road in 2021 and 2022, providing ambulance surge support to patients in emergency situations. From driving ambulances and assisting with high acuity patients to supporting the communications response, the healthcare system was buoyed by the ability of St John Volunteers to step into vital roles and keep ambulances on the road.