Belmont, Perth,

Schoolkids tune in to ambulances

A hip hop workshop recently held in Meekatharra by St John Ambulance helped children learn about the ambulance service and when it is appropriate to call for assistance.  
More than 50 school children joined St John Ambulance personnel and hip hop musician Scotty Griffith, aka Optamus Downsyde for a week to write and record a song and accompanying video.
St John Ambulance Regional Manager Midwest Michael Jack said the aim was to create an educational video clip which provided some basic principles that children as well as adults could follow if they needed to call an ambulance.
“The kids were inspired and were here each day to write the song and shoot the music video.  Music is a good way of spreading the message because that is among the things children relate to,” he said.
“St John Ambulance in Meekatharra is a volunteer operated service.  There was a high burn-out rate among our volunteer ambulance officers due to an unacceptable level of inappropriate ambulance call outs.
“We took this approach in the hope the community would engage with us to help solve the problem and it was a great success. During the week our Community Paramedic Nic Chadbourne connected strongly with the community.”
“In addition this event also inspired seven Meeka residents to join our ambulance service as volunteers and have also had a request to run Apply First Aid training in the Aboriginal community, so we couldn’t be more happy.”
Mr Jack said the workshop had great community support from the Shire of Meekatharra, Yulella Aboriginal Corporation and local businesses.
At least 90 community members attended a community barbecue and preview of the video at the end of the week, the video receiving rapturous applause.
The video may screen in the local picture theatre and at the Youth Centre so the message reaches out to the entire community and it has also been uploaded to YouTube,
St John Ambulance WA will consider implementing this program in other parts of the State.