St. John Ambulance in Canada

St. John Ambulance in Canada

St. John Ambulance (SJA) is a very well known organization in Canada [ cite web|url=|title=Our History in Canada |accessdate=2008-09-29 ] and is the most successful non-profit first aid training organization world wide. St. John Ambulance Canada serves the community through many different mechanisms, as described below. The St. John Ambulance mission is to enable Canadians to improve their health, safety and quality of life by providing training and community service. [cite web|url=|title=Mission, Vision, Values|accessdate=2008-09-29]


St. John Ambulance was founded in Canada in 1882. Under this banner, volunteers from coast-to-coast carry out the humanitarian services of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem.

In 1897 the Dominion Council of Canada was established in Ottawa to give legitimacy to the operations of St John Ambulance Brigade in Canada. At the same time St. John Ambulance Brigade activities commenced in the territories of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.

1933 saw the Dominion Council of Canada becoming the Commandery of Canada due its increasing activity and social need for first aid services and training.

In 1946, the Priory of Canada of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem was established. This was done in recognition of 2 needs: (a) the expanding role and activities of the St John Ambulance Association & the St John Ambulance Brigade throughout Canada, and (b) for the need to transfer the governance of the Order to the national capital, Ottawa, Ontario away from being under the governance of The Priory of England and the Islands.

In 2008 St. John Ambulance Volunteers celebrated 125 years of serving Canadians.


Led by a highly skilled network of medical and health care professionals, St. John Ambulance is the national leader in first aid, setting the standard for training in first aid, CPR and other life-saving skills. St. John Ambulance also offers many advanced level courses including the Medical first responder (MFR) in several provinces. As well St. John also operates 2 colleges of Paramedicine; the [ Atlantic Paramedic Academy] in New Brunswick and the [ Maritime School of Paramedicine] in Nova Scotia. [ cite web|url= |title=Schools of Paramedicine |accessdate=2008-09-25 ]

Volunteer Brigade

The St. John Ambulance Volunteer Brigade is a group of trained volunteers that serve their community in a variety of ways, including first aid services at public events, support in times of emergency or disaster, and youth programs that encourage community service and personal development.

SJA provides patient care and first responder services at public events throughout Canada with the volunteer Brigade, much in the same way as in England. Brigade members in Canada wear a similar uniform, and are trained to a high level of First Aid, including the new Medical First Responder (MFR) program. [ [ The St. John Ambulance Medical First Responder Program] ] In Nova Scotia, the volunteers no longer use the term "Brigade" or "Ambulance". They are now referred to as "St John Volunteer Medical Response". This change came about in an attempt to better reflect what the volunteers can offer to their communities.

St. John Ambulance has over 25,000 members in more than 300 communities across Canada of all ages.

Therapy Dog

The St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog Program began in Peterborough, Ontario and has expanded across the country. Partnerships have been established in hospitals, palliative care units, day care centres, senior residences, rest homes, special needs schools and psychiatric hospitals where people are often restricted from having pets. The Therapy Dog program sees a volunteer and their dog make visits to an institution, often on a weekly basis.

We Can Help

St. John Ambulance provides elementary school students with the We Can Help Program, which provides children with an introduction to first aid skills and basic injury prevention messages, is designed for children ages seven through ten. Children today are often given a great deal of responsibility, and the intention of this program is to ensure that their knowledge of safety is as strong as possible.

Friends of the Emergency Room

The Friends of the Emergency Room program volunteers provide comfort and support services to people who access the emergency department at some hospitals in Alberta.

The Friends are an important part of the emergency room care team. Friends are there to provide patients and their companions with comfort and support while in the waiting room.

Youth Programs

Youth in SJA Canada are a very important part of the organization as well. The proficiency program allows youth members to gain the Grand Prior's award, as well as work toward the Duke of Edinburgh's Award. Proficiencies are awarded for such demonstration of knowledge of subjects, both related and unrelated to the organization. The program is designed to meet the requirements of the Grand Prior's Award, and to give the youth valuable life skills. The Grand Prior's Award is achieved when the adolescent has completed 6 compulsory and 6 elective proficiency courses. In addition to this, youth members are given the opportunity to perform community service and patient care at public events, provided that they are supervised by trained adult members.

Disaster Planning and Aid

In times of emergency, SJA Canada can be placed on standby, waiting to provide Disaster Relief and Emergency services to the effected area. Exactly what procedures are taken greatly depends on local Disaster Management planners, however the government of Canada has officially recognised the role SJA fills in the process. [] Supplies and equipment may vary as well as numbers of personnel immediately available in the area, but SJA does have a plan already in place, in the form of the National Duty Officer, for the callup of additional personnel and equipment to augment local Divisions. []

ee also

*St John Ambulance Ranks and Insignia
*Goodwin House - Former National Office Building
*Service Medal of the Order of St John


External links

Official websites

National Website
* [ St. John Ambulance Canada]
* [ St. John Ambulance Canada 125 Anniversary site] Provincial Council Websites
* [ Alberta Council]
* [ British Columbia & Yukon Council]
* [ Federal District (Ottawa)]
* [ Manitoba Council]
* [ New Brunswick Council]
* [ Newfoundland Council]
* [ Northwest Territories & Nunavut Council]
* [ Nova Scotia / Prince Edward Island Council]
* [ Ontario Council]
* [ Quebec Council]
* [ Saskatchwan Council]

* [ Maritime School of Paramedicine]

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