St John provides support to bushfire fighting efforts

St John provides support to bushfire fighting efforts

21 January 2014

St John SA CEO Sharyn Mitten pays tribute to the many St John volunteers who have supported the state’s emergency services defending our communities in some brutal conditions.  

The past week has seen extreme weather and blistering temperatures, and while most have sought refuge under the air-conditioning I must pay tribute to the many St John volunteers who faced adversity at the spate of bushfires across South Australia.

Following CFS requests St John Operations Branch members supported the state’s emergency services defending our communities in some brutal conditions. In summary we attended 8 fires in 5 days, with St John members in attendance for several days at each. These fires included:

Delamere, Bangor, Angaston, Eden Valley, Ceduna, Riverland, Bordertown and Billiatt

Regional and metro St John SA crews pulled together in a multi-Divisional response. Injuries treated include cardiac arrest, broken bones, lacerations, major and minor burns, heat related illness and hundreds of heath checks and eye washes for the Firefighters and volunteers coming into the staging areas.

St John SA crews are currently deployed at Bangor, Eden Valley and the Riverland.

This valiant effort was set against a backdrop of searing heat, and the constant threat of changing winds and worsening conditions. I understand that State Duty Officer Sean Bartlett has done an excellent job in leading the charge, working with the State Superintendent and many others in a complex, multi-site operation.

Our thanks go to all members on scene and those ensuring St John was prepared and ready to respond, together with families and workplaces providing support and the necessary time-off work. This has also been amidst the day to day activities including Tour Down Under commencing and the Big Bash Cricket on Saturday at Adelaide Oval.

I also recognise the work of our Community Care volunteers who visited clients throughout this trying period, bringing comfort and reassurance to many. Our older generation and the more vulnerable face greater risks in these extreme temperatures and a call or visit can make all the difference.

Whether in homes or where adversity strikes we are proud of St John’s outstanding contribution towards community resilience.

Well done to all those involved.

I will continue to keep you informed as details come to hand.

Sharyn Mitten
Chief Executive Officer