St John Ambulance after 85 years of services
Friday, June 24, 2022, was St John Ambulance Day.
St John Ambulance Ghana is celebrating its 85th Anniversary, St John Ambulance Ghana has worked in close collaboration with Ghana Police Service since its inception.
Established by the British Police force to begin emergency medical services in Ghana in 1937, St John Ambulance Ghana (SJAG), had continued to work with the police service even after Ghana’s independence in 1957.
Ghana Police Service had continued to offer paramilitary training to staff and volunteers to make them smart and disciplined.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) took over from the Ghana Police Service and made St John an agency under it.
The organisation now operates under the subvention of MOH as an Emergency Medical Service (EMS) provider in the area of First Aid Services, Ambulance Services and Community Health Volunteerism and Youth Development as mandated by an Act of Parliament Act 57 of 1959.
Since its inception, St John Ambulance has operated an ambulance service conveying the colonial officers to hospitals in Accra during the colonial era.
Under the Ghana Police Service, St John continued to operate an ambulance service after independence.
The provision of ambulances for the service now had not been regular. After the Stadium disaster in 2001, the government decided to establish the National Ambulance Service with a wide coverage area to concentrate on road traffic accidents, disasters, and inter-hospital transfers, among others.
With the challenges of inadequate ambulances, the agency operated standby duties, corporate events, and health workers, among others.
85 years of its existence, SJAG had undertaken several duties for God and the country.
SJAG has rendered unparalleled charitable services to humanity, trained over one million of Ghana’s workforce and school children in First Aid, provided emergency services to victims of disasters; provided First Aid cover at national, traditional and corporate meets.
Contributions of St John Ambulance Ghana to National Development
The contribution of SJAG to national development could be seen from the meritorious services it renders to institutions, corporate bodies and the public; a few of which have been explained below:
First Aid Training
SJAG has provided First Aid training programmes guided by international standards. Some of these training programmes include Basic Emergency First Aid (BEFA), First Aid at Work (FAW), Lifesaver International First Aid (LIFAC), Advanced First Aid (AFA), Aviation First Aid, Sport First Aid, Trainer Foundation and First Aid Trainer among others.
Many organisations have taken first aid training for their staff seriously and need to be applauded. This includes Bank of Ghana (Security Department), Goldfields Exploration Ltd, Jodi Construction, City Link (Domestic), Guinness Ghana Breweries Ltd, School of Hygiene (Korle Bu Teaching Hospital), Graphic Communications Group, African World Airline, Standard Chartered Bank, M. Barbisoti & Sons, Barbex Tech. Service, GCNet, Fly 540 Airline, Nestle Ghana Ltd, Starbow Airline, Shoprite Super Market, PW Ghana Ltd, Keegan Resources Ltd, Help Age Ghana, Controller and Accountant General Dept, Social Advance Institute, Ghana Education Service, National Sports Council, Churches, School of Hygiene, Korle bu, SunPower among others. Insite Media College.
Others are Mary Mount International School, Genser Energy, FBN Bank, Blue Financial Services, Church of Pentecost Headquarters, Rock Africa, Ghana Integrated Iron and Steel Devt Corporation, TransAid, GHACEM, Shoprite, Kama Industries, Quantum Terminals, Blue Oceans, Puma Energy, Volta River Authority, Michelle, Judges and Staff of the Judicial Services, Ribade Gh Ltd, Cardinal Resources, Manbah Gas, Canadian High Commission, Right to Dream Academy, LMI Holdings, Denmark Embassy, Ministry of Petroleum and School of Hygiene among others.
First Aid Cover at Various Stadia and National Events
St John Ambulance Ghana has provided essential First Aid services to the public across the country. It continues to perform stadium duties in all the stadia across the country as well as functions held by corporate and religious organisations. Prominent among them are Independence Day Anniversary celebrations on 6th March each year; May Day celebrations across the country, Accra International Milo Marathons, Malta Guinness Pan African Street Dance, Royal Durbars, National Farmers’ Day, Health and Peace Walks, Inter-School Games, Clean-Up Exercises, Quiz Competitions, Keep Fit Exercises, Clinic Volunteering and Health Education, National Association of Scoliosis events, among others. Notable among other emergency services rendered was one during the unfortunate collapse of the Melcom supermarket at Achimota, a suburb of Accra, in November 2012.
SJAG deployed an emergency team that worked in collaboration with other Emergency Medical Services Organisations during the entire period of the rescue exercise.
Aviation First Aid Training
St John Ambulance Ghana is the only First Aid organisation mandated by the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority to offer First Aid in the aviation industry in Ghana. SJAG has been offering First Aid training services to staff of several airlines in the country. They include City Link Airline, Fly 440 Airline, Starbow Airline, African World Airline, and Antrak Air. Pilots and Cabin crew members receive pre-service and refresher courses in First Aid training from time to time from SJAG. The Airlines always conducts annual audits to know the latest update of our training syllabus.
First Aid Training at the Mines
St John Ambulance Ghana oversees First Aid training in the mining sector in Ghana. This is done in collaboration with the Ghana Chamber of Mines. Pre-service and refresher courses are organised for 16 mining firms in Ghana from time to time. This includes Asanko Goldmines, Anglogold Ashanti, Obuasi, Underground Mining Alliance, Obuasi, Goldfields Gh Ltd, Obuasi, Goldfields Gh Ltd, Damang, Newmont Ghana Gold Gh Ltd, Ahafo and New Abirim, Chirano Gold Mines Ltd, Anglogold Ashanti, Iduapriem Ltd, WFGR Bogoso Prestea Mines, Golden Star Wassa, among others. To ensure that the workers of the various mines develop their skills in First Aid continuously, the First Aid competition is held annually by the Chamber of Mines in collaboration with SJAG.
Over the years, SJAG has paid particular attention to the youth that form the core of our volunteers. First Aid training is given to them periodically, and skill acquisition platforms have been created for them. Over one million school children from second-cycle institutions have been given free training nationwide for the past 10 years alone. In addition, they are taught the spirit of volunteerism. They form school clubs to learn First Aid.
First Aid Boxes
St John Ambulance has been producing First Aid Kits for many institutions all these years. The boxes include car kits and standard and industrial boxes.
St John Ambulance Ghana continues to be a major stakeholder with the National Road Safety Commission. Volunteers of SJAG have been organising and educating people at the lorry stations, markets, etc. in villages, towns, and major cities as our contribution towards the reduction of accidents. The education equips participants with the basic skills in First Aid so that they could apply such knowledge when the need arises.
SJAG appeals to Government, donors, and Philanthropic organisations to resource all organisations providing Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in Ghana to enable us to perform well according to our mandate.
On this special day, they praise their clients, stakeholders, volunteers, past governing council members, staff, and all Emergency Medical Services organisations in Ghana for their selfless devotion to humanity
St John day is celebrated worldwide on 24th June which coincides with the feast of St John the Baptist.
St John Ambulance!
Ordinary People Doing Extra-Ordinary Things
For Faith and in the Service of Humanity!
By Elsie Appiah-Osei