Ambulance volunteers put the call out for more help

Briana FioreHarvey-Waroona Reporter
St Johns Ambulance volunteers Rachel Atkinson and Chris Sabourne in an ambulance.Picture: Briana Fiore/Harvey-Waroona Reporter
Camera IconSt Johns Ambulance volunteers Rachel Atkinson and Chris Sabourne in an ambulance.Picture: Briana Fiore/Harvey-Waroona Reporter Credit: Briana Fiore/Harvey-Waroona Reporter/Picture: Briana Fiore

St John Ambulance in Harvey is in dire need of volunteers.

Many of the volunteers are aged over 70 and the branch is pleading for some young blood.

They have had to close the centre on several occasions and will be forced to close more often, meaning people would have to wait for Brunswick or Waroona units to arrive in an emergency if more people do not put up their hand.

Chris Sabourne has been a volunteer for 26 years and said he started volunteering after losing his young daughter.

“The community of Harvey were so good to us after the loss of our daughter,” Mr Sabourne said.

“I wanted to give back to the community after they helped me.”

Mr Sabourne also helped save the life of two-year-old Arlo Panetta three weeks ago, after he suffered an electric shock on his family’s farm.

If the incident had happened a day later, the centre would have been closed due to a lack of volunteers and the family would have been relying on another town’s ambulance to arrive.

Mr Sabourne said incidents involving children were every officer’s nightmare, but he enjoyed helping children and the elderly.

“When we go to the nursing homes, the residents call us their guardian angels and it makes it all worth it.”

Mr Sabourne said he would recommend the role to people who liked helping others.

“Harvey is community-minded and anyone who can give time to help out, even to drive, would be appreciated,” he said.

Rachel Atkinson has been serving for almost a decade and recently joined the Harvey branch.

The 32-year-old lives in Australind and stays in the provided on-site accommodation when she is on-call.

“I’ve always wanted to volunteer, the generic answer is always ‘I like to help people’ however it’s true, that’s why we sign up,” Mrs Atkinson said.

“I think people are scared of joining because they think they don’t have the skills, however, St John’s train you really well so that you’re prepared for anything.

“Young people should definitely sign up, give it a go.”

The mum-of-two said her eldest son Moses could not wait until he was 18 so he could sign up.

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