New SJA boss puts volunteers at the heart of community

Michael TraillGreat Southern Herald
St John's Emma Doughty.
Camera IconSt John's Emma Doughty. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

St John WA’s new Great Southern manager Emma Doughty has a vision to bolster the region’s volunteer numbers and continue the roll-out of the organisation’s Great Southern Heart Safe project.

The Heart Safe program has been expanded throughout the region, placing defibrillators in publicly accessible spots.

Ms Doughty said Katanning was another Great Southern town to embrace the program.

“Katanning has just had a big push, which is really great to see,” Ms Doughty said.

“It’s not just St John (getting behind the project), it’s the community, it’s businesses and we have residents now who are looking to establish them outside their place.

“This is where it really works into the First Responder app because people can actually see the location of those publicly accessible automated external defibrillators.”

Ms Doughty is also preparing to launch new programs after taking the reins in late February. In April, she expects to call for expressions of interest for the country youth ambulance cadet program.

“The focus with country youth ambulance is to instil in youth the sense of volunteerism while fostering and developing critical first-aid skills,” she said.

Recruitment for a new country event officer is scheduled to start in May.

“These volunteers will be specifically used for country events around the Albany district but will not be part of ambulance crews,” Ms Doughty.

Those officers will be called upon specifically for events that draws crowds such as Racewars.

To keep new blood flowing through St John’s Great Southern veins, Ms Doughty will also be placing a keen eye on the Country Youth Ambulance cadet program.

“We will start engaging and providing information to High Schools in the coming weeks with the expectation of running an Expression of Interest process in April.”

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