With COVID numbers spiralling earlier this year, St John Ambulance stepped up to support our NHS here on the Isle of Wight and the result has been so successful that more than 40 St John ambulances were seen out and about on Island roads in August alone.
Since February, St John has been putting its life-saving skills to extraordinary use for us and it amounts to more than 300 additional shifts being provided to the Island, giving an additional 2,700 hours of ambulance coverage locally.
The charity’s relationship with the NHS continues to grow and the numbers offering their support to the Island are also growing too. St John’s bright new ambulances can be seen on the ferry most days of the week, also supporting with mainland transfers to free up Island crews to remain on the Island.
Trained to the exacting standards we have all come to respect, these deployments have seen crews from all over the South, from as far afield as Bristol, Kent and London. The crews are also gaining valuable support and expertise from their NHS counterparts as they are being used to support on all types of call.
Brigadier Maurice Sheen, Chairman of Isle of Wight St John Priory Group, says:
“As the #AskMe campaign shows, our training is world class and literally life saving here on the Island, so it is excellent to see the St John logo on teams of men and women out there on the front line. I am so proud of the Island volunteers, as well as the teamwork and can do attitude with crews from The Mainland.”
Victoria White, Head of Isle of Wight Ambulance Service adds:
“At the beginning of the year the demand on the IW Ambulance Service rose significantly and COVID-19 related staff absences put additional pressure on our service. We are very thankful to St John Ambulance for working alongside us. Their ongoing support is helping us to care for our community efficiently and effectively, in what continues to be an incredibly busy time for urgent and emergency services. A huge thank you to the SJA team from all at the Trust.”
As the St John training is once again opening up, there has never been a better time to update your skills or apply to join one of the groups here on the Island. For more information, telephone 0344 770 4800, see the ‘St John Ambulance – Isle of Wight’ Facebook page or find visit www.sja.org.uk.