Added on: 24th May, 2020 by Orpington St John Ambulance
Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic St John Ambulance volunteers from Orpington have been busy supporting the NHS and where possible continuing to volunteer as normal.
The volunteers started preparing to provide support as far back as mid-February with our Unit Manager, John, attending the first day of an ambulance upskill course as it was fast becoming evident that the UK was to face a significant public health emergency. John attended the second and final day that involved FFP3 mask fit testing, a requirement to be able to treat those suspected of having the virus. in mid-March with the charity having progressing the design and implementation of this day of the course several months earlier than originally planned.
On the 11 April 2020 John commenced volunteering in support of the London Ambulance Service responding to 999 calls across London. Over the next four weeks he undertook 17 twelve hour shifts providing medical care, treatment and transport to hospital while living away from home to protect those in the high-risk category. He helped people both suspected of having the virus and lots of others who did not. He can assure you that the NHS is ready to help everybody and has lots of safeguards in place to protect you.
St John Ambulance had also created a brand new course to prepare those who would be volunteering at the Nightingale Hospital and Accident and Emergency Departments. The course involved an online learning module and two days face to face training on topics including revision of infection prevention control procedures. Three volunteers from the Orpington Unit completed the course in preparation to undertaking these roles.
During this time the Orpington Unit has continued to operate as normally as possible with the regular meetings continuing but by Skype providing the volunteers an opportunity to meet up virtually and take part in first aid training.
Volunteers from the Unit, both those who have been isolating to protect themselves and others or who have been volunteering in response to Covid-19, have also been busy taking part in fundraising as like most charities St John Ambulance has seen a significant drop income in the region of over £1million pounds per week, if you can help us please visit
https://www.justgiving.com/team/OrpingtonSJAUnit, as well as recruiting new volunteers, providing training, and attending various online training sessions and courses ready to provide first aid when events restart and some form of normality returns. The training has included first aid, dementia, assisting a Paramedic, conflict management, people development and safeguarding.
Having seen the effects of the virus first hand the volunteers ask you to keep following the Government advice and maintain social distancing to protect each other.
To see some of the experiences St John Ambulance have had over the past few months have a look at the following videos: