St John Ambulance Victoria
Recently I was featured in an article showing my ‘other job’ as a volunteer emergency worker with St John Ambulance. The article required some photos so my good friend Robert Young took the shots you see. Rob blogged about the shoot over here.
Sharon is one of around 3,000 St John Ambulance volunteers in Victoria, who attend over 6,000 events and treat over 17,000 casualties each year.
As a St John Ambulance Advanced Responder, Sharon is faced with many medical emergencies, including the horrific 2009 Black Saturday Bushfires, where she treated casualties for 3 days straight. “It’s the most challenging emergency I have ever been part of,” she says.
“We didn’t get any sleep at all from the moment we were deployed until we arrived home. While we were no less than 20km from any of the many fire fronts, we kept having to up and move around because the fires were travelling so fast and were very unpredictable. Treating seriously ill people while having to up and move quickly made the job quite difficult but you just have to keep your eyes open and respond to whatever comes. If you don’t, you can put yourself and others at risk.”
But Sharon is also privy to fun times too, such as rave parties (her personal favourite), concerts and festivals. And while the Commonwealth Games of 2006 was her “highlight”, duties also extend to school fetes, council park events, pet shows, marathons and other sports events. The list goes on…
“A free access-all-areas pass is a definite perk of the job,” she says. “We get to banter with many local and international celebrities and guests.”
Sharon joined St John in 2004 to enhance her work-life balance and encourages others to consider the rewards gained from volunteer work whether it’s with St John Ambulance or another volunteer organisation.