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Armagh’s St John Ambulance Adult Division launches recruitment drive.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

THE Armagh Adult Division of St John Ambulance is embarking on a local recruitment drive.


They are welcoming enquiries from anyone who would feel committed to this kind of voluntary work and has Monday evenings free for weekly training.

The division meets in the Appleby Social and Education Centre on Mondays at 8.00 pm and training rarely lasts longer than 2 hours.

Brenda Smith, officer in charge, is hoping for a positive feedback to the initiative.

"A similar recruitment drive in Craigavon got a good response, so we are looking for the same," Brenda said.

"It is vital that we get more people involved as our numbers are low.

"The main thing that we are looking for is commitment from those who volunteer.

"We are open to everyone and those who are interested will be made very welcome." Brenda believes there are many benefits from volunteering work with St John Ambulance.

"We 're all volunteers providing first aid cover wherever it is required." Brenda added.

"We help and serve others and attend events around the area.

"We cover a lot of bike races, the Armagh Show, Georgian and St Patrick's Day, marathons and cycling races.

"As a Division we consider ourselves a family and we look after each other. We have people involved of all ages but our main commitment is to help others.

"It's good for your CV and the cadets division gets a lot of young people who are interested in doing this line of work.

"Our work was recognised in 2008 when we were awarded the Freedom of Armagh City. No other division has this accolade which we received jointly with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service and the Order of Malta.

Audrey Johnston, nursing and training officer of the Adult Division, outlines how the training works.

"There is an induction process at the beginning," Audrey said.

"Then there are all the formalities of Police checks, Access NI forms etc, but this is usually sorted quite quickly.

"There are different levels of training but the first thing we provide is First Aid in a local location.

"The courses get more harder throughout but they are all practical examinations until the end.

"You can get to whatever level you want and it is solely up to you to how far you want to prog ress." Audrey hopes as many volunteers as possible come forward as they can help save someone's life.

"You learn the knowledge in the courses that could save someone's life," Audrey added.

"There is also a chance to improve team work, experience of dealing under pressure, giving back to the community, feeling a part of a family, friendship and it opens a lot of doors and opportunities."


Michael Burney, doctor at Craigavon Area Hospital, insists he wouldn't be where he is at without the support of St. John Ambulance.

"I've been involved with St. John Ambulance from the age of 10 and it's been a huge part of my life," Michael said.

"I don't think I'd be a doctor without their help and support along the way and I'm in the process of being the Divisional Doctor.

"It's much more than First Aid, you learn development and teaching courses and I'd highly recommend coming along and volunteering.

"It's a good chance to give something back to the community and it's quite common for people to feel unwell, so the more people who know First Aid, the better.

"Cardiac arrests have a high death rate, so emergency help can help save a life.

"Volunteering is something different and it helps you expand your skill base and go on a different journey.

"There is also ambulance training provided and it's a good initiative to get into as a young person.

"I've been to different events and projects because of St.John's and they've been encouraging throughout my career."

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