More volunteers sought by Melton St John Ambulance unit

The Melton unit of St John Ambulance is appealing for more volunteers EMN-180117-154928001
The Melton unit of St John Ambulance is appealing for more volunteers EMN-180117-154928001
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The Melton unit of St John Ambulance is operating with only half the number of first aiders it needs to cover local events and emergencies.

The organisation is sounding an appeal this week for more volunteers to train up, with a team of 20 required to be available for duty.

Melton’s unit has 15 people signed up, but only nine of those are available to go out to attend events and treat emergencies and minor injuries.

Unit manager, Kate Wright, said: “Six of the volunteers we have are in support roles, getting equipment ready and sorting out the logistics side.

“That means we only have nine volunteers currently and we could do with at least 20 to ensure we can go everywhere we are needed.”

The group meets every Monday, 7-9pm, in a room at the town campus of Brooksby Melton College.

As well as public and community events, volunteers are often called out to give support at big sports matches, such as Leicester City FC and Leicester Tigers RFC, and occasionally they are called out to further afield to the likes of the Chelsea Flower Show.

New volunteers are trained over two weekends and they can also then train to advanced level and even go on to support paramedics responding to emergencies in ambulances.

Those with no first aid experience can expect to attain a reasonable level of proficiency after six to nine months.

“Our volunteers come from all different backgrounds, from teenagers to people in their 80s,” said Kate (49).

“Our oldest was a man of 82 and he was on duty right up until two months before he sadly passed away.

“I joined because I am a registered nurse and I wanted to give something back.

“It’s really nice to be able to help people.

“We’re like a family at Melton and we’re a family that people have chosen to belong to.”

Kate is concerned that not enough people have basic first aid skills.

She said: “There is a thing where you place two fingers on someone’s chin and your palm on their forehead and tilt the head slightly to help them breathe. That apparently would help 56,000 people to survive every year and yet not many know about it.”

Email east-mids-volunteering@sja.org.uk to volunteer for St John Ambulance in Melton or to find out more.