Rewards great in ambulance volunteering, but commitment is required

The rewarding nature of being an ambulance member is the best part of the role, Wudinna team leader John Simpson says.

“It costs time but that time and effort is well rewarded in the help you are giving to the community,” he said.

“However, you get more out of it than you give.”

The team leader said his group was always on the lookout for new volunteers.

“We just had a few people finish their training,” he said.

“It doesn’t seem to matter how many volunteers we have, the issue is getting the roster completely filled out, sometimes it can be difficult to have people on the weekends, so a few of us tend to do most weekends.”

The team covers an area centered at Wudinna with a boundary just outside of Poochera, halfway to Kimba, Lock and Elliston.

“It’s a big area but having said that, if other teams don’t have enough for a crew we could fill in,” he said.

New recruit Gail Dolphin has recently completed her training, a journey which started in late 2015.

“It’s a process which separates who is interested and who isn’t,” she said.

“You have got to be committed to weekend training and if you can’t give 100 per cent then you are just wasting your’s and other people’s time.

The 58-year-old, originally from Warramboo, now lives in Wudinna and said she had time so decided to join.

“My story is nothing glamorous, I just always had an interest in this sort of thing,” she said.

“Years ago at Warramboo they wanted me to be a St John member and now that I’m in Wudinna and have no other ties I thought it was a good time to do it, and there is a shortage so I thought I would help ease the burden.”

The clinical support ambulance officer said it was not a role for everybody.

“It doesn’t bother me what I see but you have got to have a strong stomach, you need to be empathetic, you need to like helping people and you cannot panic,” she said.

She said sometimes she would have one shift a week, other times it would be four or five times a week.

Training is two hours for two nights a week and Mr Simpson said that when signing up, the contract was for 30 hours a month.

Ms Dolphin urged others who may be interested to go along and check it out.

“Come to a training, talk to people and ask why they did it,” she said.

“It is a role which can be rewarding but it is not all driving under lights.”

There are six workshops to complete and other jobs on station but Mr Simpson said the main focus was practice and commitment.

“We are not doctors, it is not that hard but about keeping at it.”

Interested people in the Wudinna area can call John Simpson on 0427 802 136.

This story Commitment is important first appeared on West Coast Sentinel.