Belmont, Perth,

110 years of service to WA by St John Ambulance

The 2013 Perth Royal Show marks the 110th Anniversary of St John Ambulance Western Australia’s commencing its life-saving service to the WA community.

In 1903, the St John Ambulance Brigade (as it was then-known) was dispatched on its first public duty at the Royal Agricultural Society of Western Australia’s annual show.

St John Ambulance WA CEO Tony Ahern said the uniformed volunteers attended the East Guildford Showground on both days of the show, which only ran for two days in 1903.

“The Brigade attended to four cases requiring first aid that year and the exercise was declared a success,” said Mr Ahern. “The rest, as they say, is history, with St John Ambulance WA having provided the first aid services at the Perth Royal Show ever since.”

Kevin Young has been a volunteer with St John Ambulance since 1946, starting out as a Cadet in Kalgoorlie-Boulder at 17 years old, and rising through the ranks to Superintendent.

Mr Young said he has continued to volunteer with the service in various capacities after relocating to Perth in 1975.

“After I arrived in Perth, I would take annual leave during Royal Show week and volunteer with the Brigade,” recalls Mr Young, who took part in Royal Show service over almost two decades.

“The squad would treat a range of casualties from cuts and bruises to fractures and concussion. We’d also see plenty of cases of vomiting from the sideshow alley rides.”

“The Brigade would be stationed at the St John Ambulance tent but we would often be dispatched to wherever the casualties were at Claremont Showgrounds.”

Mr Young still volunteers twice a week at the St John Ambulance WA Museum, helping to keep alive the 110 year history of the organisation’s first aid volunteers.

In 2013, as well as having its first aid and health care professionals stationed around the Showgrounds, St John Ambulance will also have a marquee (on Hardy Ave) where it will be providing free 10 minute first aid training sessions held every half hour.

In addition, St John will offer discounted first aid kits and courses, an ambulance will be displayed along with the new St John mascots, who will also participate in the Mix 94.5 Grand Mascot Race for Telethon on Friday 4 October at 6:15pm.

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Emma-Jane Morcombe @ gtmedia
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