St John call for non-clinical volunteers

Ashburton St John paramedic and acting MIST volunteer team leader Andrew Beckley with the vehicle used to support St John operations at major events and incidents.

Ashburton St John needs volunteers to join its new Major Incident Support Team (MIST) and has an open day and information evenings lined up for people to find out more about the non-clinical role.

MIST teams are being established around the country to help with wider St John operations and event health services teams with both planned and unplanned major events or incidents.

Volunteers support teams in times of crisis with a range of tasks that cover everything from administration and communications through to welfare and logistics.

Ashburton St John paramedic Andrew Beckley is the acting volunteer team leader for the local MIST team and is encouraging anyone interested to come along to a St John recruitment day to be held in Ashburton Domain on March 7 between 1pm and 4pm.

Information evenings are also planned at the St John building on Tancred Street between 7pm and 8pm on both March 15 and March 21.

Mr Beckley said St John had received its temporary MIST vehicle late last year.

It looked like an ambulance, but was packed with gear needed to operate at a major incident, including a 9m x 6m inflatable tent, generator, heating and other equipment.

Non-clinical MIST volunteers were required to put up the tent, run the radio, feed crews and generally support clinical teams at major incidents, he said.

Ashburton was looking for a pool of 15 volunteers who would be rostered on in groups of between four and six.

Volunteers will need to pass a physical and police checks, be first-aid qualified and will undergo training in areas like driving.

They also need to get to St John Ashburton within 30 minutes of an alert.

MIST was new here, said Mr Beckley, and he hoped volunteers would get on board to make it work for our district.

“It’s a great opportunity for people who are unable to commit to ambulance service and other duties to get involved with St John,” he said.