Flashing Lights Newsletter

The St John NT Monthly Newsletter

Flashing Lights Newsletter | St John Ambulance
2018 Jun

Welcome from the CEO - Judith Barker

Hi Everyone

The week of the 21st to the 27th May 2018 saw us celebrating our volunteers as part of National Volunteer Week 2018. This year’s national theme was “Give a little, Change a lot”. Our volunteers committed over 41,000 hours to the organisation last financial year in a variety of ways, including providing first aid at public events and maintaining their high standards through ongoing training. Across the Territory St John Ambulance Australia (NT) hosted lunches and BBQs to bring together our volunteers and say thanks for all that they do for us as an organisation and the community as a whole.

National Registration for paramedics is fast approaching and will be introduced in late 2018. In line with other professions such as nursing, paramedicine will become a regulated profession under the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme. This will see protection given to the title of paramedic and only those registered with the National Board able to lawfully call themselves a paramedic. This is an exciting time for paramedics who have been lobbying for this protection for quite some time.

I recently had the opportunity to visit our paramedics and volunteers at our Nhulunbuy Station. The dedication of our team to this isolated population was impressive. So to was that of the other health and support services located at Nhulunbuy and it was amazing to see how all of the services, ours included, come together as one large team for the good of the community.  In talking with the St John team I was inspired by some of the insight into their community and their desire to create change for the good of the Nhulunbuy residents.

I am thrilled to announce that this year we will be combining our volunteer and paramedic award ceremonies, coming together as one organisation to celebrate all that we do and reward our valuable staff.

On 30 May St John Ambulance Australia (NT) held its annual investiture at Government House, hosted by the Deputy Prior and Dame of Grace in the Order of St John, Her Honour the Honourable Vicki O’Halloran AM, Administrator of the Northern Territory. It was a very proud moment to see four members promoted, three new members admitted and 10 volunteers receive their medals and bars.

It was also inspiring to be able to present the Save a Life Award to Tahlia Drahm-Coggan for saving the life of her baby sister following a serious car crash.

In 2017, 12 year old Tahlia Drahm-Coggan was a passenger in a car with her mother and 10 month old sister Aiva when they were involved in a vehicle crash that left Tahlia’s mother, Rebecca, with a fractured spine and saw Aiva go into cardiac arrest as a result of her injuries.

Despite her own injuries, Tahlia removed her sister from the car, which was emitting smoke as a result of the crash, to get her to safety. Relying on her St John training from the First Aid in Schools program she then checked her sister for signs of life putting her ear to Aiva’s chest. Tahlia realised that her sister was not breathing and did not have a heartbeat. Aiva was in cardiac arrest. Knowing she could not give CPR she enlisted the help of a bystander who gave Aiva CPR. After 7 days in ICU and an extended hospital stay Aiva is now bringing joy to her family. Tahlia’s mother has also made an excellent recovery from her injuries. Tahlia is a hero to her mum, her family, her friends and to all of us.

It is these inspirational stories that instils such a sense of pride in all of us that are a part of St John Ambulance Australia (NT) and want to us to continue the great work of the organisation. 

Talk soon,

St John's Day Celebrated

St John's day celebrated

To celebrate the both St John’s Day and the organisation’s 65th anniversary, St John Ambulance NT cadet and adult members took part in a church service and a march on Sunday, June 24, before gathering for a morning tea at the lawns of Parliament House.

St John Ambulance NT CEO Judith Barker said the day was a significant milestone in the organisation’s long-standing and proud history in the Northern Territory and a fantastic celebration of its beginnings. St John NT is the largest volunteer organisation in the Territory with over 500 volunteers Territory-wide, who dedicate their time to supporting their community through first aid at public events.

Thanks to their strong commitment to ensuring the safety of the community these volunteers devoted over 43,000 hours last year and attended over 900 community events across the Territory.

“St John Ambulance NT has been serving the community for many years, attending over 52,000 incidents last year alone and transporting over 38,000 patients.”

Officially registered in Darwin 65 years ago, St John celebrates its anniversary on June 24 – international St John Day.

From humble beginnings with the first ambulance vehicle – an ex-army 1942 Bedford truck, commonly known as blitz-wagon – obtained in 1955, the ambulance service now employs almost 300 paid staff including over 100 paramedics.

The organisation also shares its first aid knowledge through public education and training, ensuring that people have the knowledge and confidence to provide first aid to those in need.

St John Ambulance NT’s dedicated team of first aid trainers have trained over 36,000 community members within the Territory, and in a bid to make first aid accessible to all Territorians, St John educators also provide free first aid training to school students across the NT.

Committed to the development of young people in the Northern Territory, St John Cadet Divisions in the Darwin and Katherine region and in Central Australia open career pathways and provide stepping stones to young Territorians, playing a significant role in youth development in the NT. 

Patron of St John Ambulance, Craig O’Halloran, said he was pleased to be able to be able to join the 65th anniversary celebrations “to honour the work that the organisation and its people undertake each day”.

“St John Ambulance has a long and proud history not only in the Northern Territory but across the world,” he said.

Don't go crackers this cracker night

Don't go crackers this cracker night

When Bianca Stubbs was 13 years old she watched her baby brother suffer horrific burns when a firecracker landed in his pram.

With Territory Day – and cracker night – just around the corner, the now 21-year-old is urging locals and visitors to be careful around fireworks on July 1.

“My brother Brodie was in his pram about 70 to 100m away from an area were fireworks were being lit when we suddenly heard a big bang,” Ms Stubbs said.

The then-teenager remembers diving to the ground while being hit in the leg by a firecracker.

“I wasn’t hurt, but then I heard a blood-curdling cry.”

A cracker had landed in little Brodie’s pram, exploding wedged under his arm and back, melting the pram straps.

“We administered first aid and St John Ambulance arrived within minutes to take Brodie to hospital,” Ms Stubbs said.

The boy, who had to undergo several surgeries for his serious injuries and endured eight months of ongoing burns treatment, still carries faint scars on his back and arm from the 2009 incident.

Ms Stubbs, who has worked as Emergency Medical Dispatcher with St John Ambulance for over two years, said the incident had frightened her entire family, but it had also shaped her career.

“I started with St John as a cadet when I was 12 years old, but watching my brother go through this horrific experience pushed me to become an advocate for first aid.

“All safety precautions were in place that day, but freak accidents do happen.

“Knowing what to do in a medical emergency is so important. St John Ambulance is the Northern Territory’s leading provider in First Aid services and having been with St John for nearly 10 years I am proud to watch my brother also join St John cadets and learn crucial first aid skills.”

Ms Stubbs, who has recently enrolled in a Paramedic degree, said while she would stay away from Territory Day celebrations, she is hoping Territorians will have a great night without having to experience what her family went through.

“Don’t go crackers this cracker night,” she said.

“Please have safety precautions in place, like a garden hose, keep your pets safe, and if someone gets burnt by a firecracker - run cold water over the wounds for 20 minutes and make sure an ambulance is on the way.

“If you’re unsure what to do, ring the professional call takers at St John on 000 and they’ll talk you through.”

St John joins fire recruits' graduation

St John joins fire recruits' graduation

St John Ambulance paramedics spent their evening at Berrimah Fire station on June 28 to help NTFRS Recruit Squad 43 with their graduation exercise during which the recruits got to show off their skills.

St John Ambulance crews look forward to working with the new firefighters, and all of us here at St John Ambulance NT would like to congratulate all our new brothers and sisters at the Northern Territory Fire Service on their special graduation day.

Eight pedestrians have died on our roads

Eight pedestrians have died on our roads

122 pedestrians have been injured on NT roads this year - and it’s only June. Eight pedestrians have died.

And on another sad note: St John Ambulance paramedics had to retreat from the scene of the latest crash and wait for Police before they could treat the injured women, including a woman with serious spinal injuries.

#HandsOff - Give our paramedics space to save lives!

Crash victim's dad thanks St John

Crash victim's dad thanks St John

St John Ambulance paramedics, together with Northern Territory Police, Fire and Emergency Services crews attended a crash near the Elizabeth River bridge in late June.

A driver suffered minor injuries when the vehicle he was travelling in crashed into the rear of a bus.

The bus driver was not injured in the crash.

Also this afternoon St John Ambulance paramedics came to the aid of a teenager who was injured in a motorbike crash on the East Woody Beach Road in Nhulunbuy.

The 16-year-old was treated for grazes and a large laceration to his leg.

Via social media his dad publicly thanked the Nhulunbuy St John Ambulance paramedics for their quick response. The 16-year-old needed surgery to his leg and is still recovering in hospital.

Busy month for paramedics and volunteers

Busy month for paramedics and volunteers

June has been another really month week for St John Ambulance paramedics and volunteers.

In late June, our emergency communications centre dealt with an aircraft crash at Crab Claw Island, our paramedics attended 35 motor vehicle crashes in the last seven days and on Saturday St John Ambulance paramedics provided medical cover and monitored our colleague from Northern Territory Police, Fire Services who were dealing with a structure fire on Cavenagh Street.

Meanwhile, St John volunteers and paramedics were out in force at many of the month’s events to provide first aid services to the community.

June has been another really month week for St John Ambulance paramedics and volunteers. In late June, our emergency communications centre dealt with an aircraft crash at Crab Claw Island, our paramedics attended 35 motor vehicle crashes in the last seven days and on Saturday St John Ambulance paramedics provided medical cover and monitored our colleague from Northern Territory Police, Fire Services who were dealing with a structure fire on Cavenagh Street. Meanwhile, St John volunteers and paramedics were out in force at many of the month’s events to provide first aid services to the community.

St John Ambulance assembles largest medical response in history of Finke

St John Ambulance assembles largest medical response in history of Finke

Finke18 is run and won and the dust has settled somewhat.

This year saw a huge field of competitors tackle the gruelling 452km of unforgiving track. With the number of entrants exceeding any other year, SJANT assembled our largest medical response in the history of the event.

130 car competitors and 612 bike competitors raced this year with 53x SJANT staff, manning 3x helicopters and 22x vehicles and 6x medical checkpoints, providing the event medical response 24hrs a day over 3 days covering 226km of race track.  

  • For the entire event (3 days) we treated 47x competitors (46 bike riders & 1 x buggy) and of those 20x received transport to Alice Springs Hospital (all bike riders).
  • 20x spectators received treatment with 5x transported to Alice Springs Hospital   
  • Approx. 80+ additional competitors received minor treatment i.e. hand strapping  
  • Monday resulted in the lowest number of riders transported in recent history of the event despite challenging track conditions (this was well below pre-race predictions)
  • Most common injury presentations included a large number of fractured clavicles, joint dislocations (shoulder) fractured ribs and spinal injuries

Finke18 has been a hugely successful event and Andrew Everingham, Regional Manager Ambulance Operations-Southern Region would like to take this opportunity to thank all those dedicated staff who contributed to this.

“Your commitment and professionalism has shaped a successful medical response to this iconic desert race and you should be proud,” he said.

“I was also asked to pass on a sincere thank you and acknowledgement of your incredible efforts from the President of the Finke Desert Race Committee President Anthony Yoffa and the town Mayor Damien Ryan.”

Finke19 see you there. 

Administrator hosts 2018 St John Ambulance Investiture and Graduation

Administrator hosts 2018 St John Ambulance Investiture and Graduation

The Administrator of the Northern Territory is proud to host the St John Ambulance NT 2018 Investiture and Graduation ceremony as Deputy Prior of St John Ambulance, and as Presenting Officer. Mr O'Halloran was a proud host of the event as Patron of St John Ambulance.

“It was wonderful to hear so many stories of service and commitment, and present voluntary service medals to those who have dedicated their spare time to St John for many years,” Her Honour, the Honourable Vicky O’Halloran, Adminisrator of the Northern Territory, said.

“We were truly inspired by the courage and resilience of Tahlia Drahm-Coggan, the recipient of the Save a Life Award. You deserve all our admiration and respect. Thank you for attending the reception this evening. I wish you all the best in your future service.”

Girl's quick thinking saves life of baby sister

Girl's quick thinking saves life of baby sister

By Melissa Mackay - Nine Digital Pty Ltd 2018

"Proud" is an understatement for Darwin mum Rebecca Brahm, when it comes to how she feels about her 13-year-old daughter, Tahlia.

"Aiva wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for Tahlia," she told 9NEWS.

"That's a known, because she'd passed away on impact and Tahlia just got her to safety quick as she could and did all the right things."

In July last year, Ms Brahm was driving at 80km/h down McMillan’s Road in Darwin with her then 12-year-old and 10-month-old daughters when a car pulled out in front of them.

"It basically made us T-Bone him. It was quite a big impact," Ms Brahm said.

With her back broken in four places, Ms Brahm couldn't move to help her children and Tahlia knew it was up to her to save her baby sister.

"I saw the smoke and I just didn't think, I had to get Aiva out," Tahlia said.

Aiva had suffered a cardiac arrest from her injuries in the crash.

"I got Aiva out of the car after I unbuckled my belt and I put my ear to her chest and noticed she wasn't breathing," Tahlia said.

"The car started smoking and I quickly got us out."

Despite having a broken nose and sprained ankle, Tahlia was able to keep calm during the chaotic ordeal.

"She was very cool and collected, just amazing on scene," St John's Ambulance paramedic John Payne, who attended the crash, said.

For her quick thinking and incredible bravery, Tahlia has been awarded the "Save a Life" award by St John's Ambulance, given only to those whose actions contribute to saving the life of another person.

Tahlia had previously learned first aid through a cadetship with St John's as well as through their First Aid in Schools program.

“You never know when you’re going to be in that situation,” she said.

Tahlia and Aiva have both recovered from their injuries, while Ms Brahm will travel to Adelaide next week for further surgery on her back.

© Nine Digital Pty Ltd 2018

St John Ambulance volunteers honored

St John Ambulance volunteers honored

By Chris McLennan – Katherine Times

Katherine’s St John Ambulance NT volunteers were honored last night for their dedication to their community.

It was an early celebration in support of the upcoming National Volunteers Week from May 21-27.

This year, Volunteering Australia’s theme is “Give a little, Change a lot”.

Presentations were made to Katherine’s volunteers acknowledging their great contribution to the Katherine community through St John NT at public and sporting events over the past year.

Some of the ambulance members received an award for the completion of in excess of 100 hours of first aid and medical support duties at various community events in the Katherine region last year.

A few members completed in excess of 200 hours voluntary community service for the year.

“The dedication and selfless commitment that our people give to their community in these matters is commendable,” volunteer services director Denis Rayner said.

“Personally, I’m in awe of the sheer number of hours spent training and preparing for, traveling to and attending at public duties that our members achieve each year.”

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