St John Ambulance resume volunteer and first aid programs

St. John resumes services

After a three-month shutdown due to COVID-19, St. John Ambulance is resuming first aid training and volunteer services in Kelowna, Kamloops and Penticton.

The impact of the pandemic on the charity has been significant, as they rely on financial support from the community in the form of donations to maintain operation of services.

As a result of COVID-19, branches were closed and all community service programs were put on hold, including therapy dog visits and medical first responder support for community events and activities.

Medical first responder volunteers looked elsewhere during this time to provide support, such as at Canadian Blood Service clinics and the Topaz Park camp for the homeless in Victoria. 

Now they'll be returning with volunteer services and charitable community service programs, adapted to ensure COVID-19 health and safety guidelines are followed. 

“With the gradual reopening of the province, St John Ambulance volunteers are ready and waiting to support new and old projects in our communities. We have made changes to how we operate in order to keep our volunteers safe, while still providing service to the communities we live in,” says Drew Hilland, Interior Operations Officer for St. John Ambulance BC & Yukon.

To request the services of St. John Ambulance volunteers, click here to email for consideration. 

First aid training will also resume following the brief shutdown, with the addition of a comprehensive COVID-19 plan following WorkSafe BC and provincial guidelines to ensure safety of staff, instructors and students.

New protocols include a health declaration upon arrival, requiring students to bring their own pocket mask and non-surgical masks to courses, enhanced sanitization procedures and physical distancing. 

“Getting first aid and CPR trained is an extremely important action to take. Training gives you the confidence to act fast during a variety of emergencies and most importantly, it gives you the skills to possibly save a life,” says Karen MacPherson, CEO of St. John Ambulance BC & Yukon.

Registration is currently open for up to 10 available courses. Anyone can register for training by visiting the website or contacting the customer care centre at 1-866-321-2651 or via email

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