Working alongside NSW Health, the SES, RFS and NSW Police our teams were deployed to seven flood-affected areas including the Northern Rivers (Lismore and Casino), Hawkesbury, Southern NSW (Deniliquin), Moree and Western NSW (Eugowra).
We provided medical and emergency assistance to members of the community who had been severely impacted by the floods. We provided support at RFS base camps, community evacuation centres, and to NSW Health and the NSW Ambulance Service. Over 2,500 patients were assessed and treated by our teams during the floods.
In November 2022, SJA deployed volunteer advanced responder and Healthcare professionals (paramedics, nurses and nurse immuniser) to the flood affected area of Eugowra. The evacuation centre and much of the surrounding towns were cut off from health services by water. St John was requested to set up a medical centre in the nearby showground to provide a 24/7 service to the community. 158 patients were seen across this time with a variety of presentations.
NSW Ambulance had one ambulance in this area based out of Parkes, with no back-up crew available. Parkes is a 30min drive in normal conditions from Eugowra. St John was asked to respond to Triple Zero calls and triage patients at the clinic until the ambulance could arrive from Parkes. St John were in constant contact with the ambulance on route. St John responded to 4 x Triple Zero calls over that time.
In 2022, we continued to provide support to Local Health Districts (LHD) who were experiencing staff shortages as a result of ongoing COVID-19 disruptions. St John NSW worked with the Far West LHD to provide staff in remote towns like Broken Hill. Our teams assisted with vaccination deliveries to remote sites, drive-through clinic support, customer service work at hospitals, and helping to support patients organise tests they might need after seeing doctors.
St John NSW also helped provide health administration staff for visitor check in at the Prince of Wales Hospital.
In 2022 we grew our pool of casual staff working as Health Service Representatives to support these sorts of needs in our health system and continue to make a positive impact in the community where and when it is needed.
St John NSW supported NSW HealthShare with the transport of low acuity patients during peak demand through the COVID pandemic in 2022.
Our teams played a critical role in helping NSW HealthShare transport vulnerable community members to their medical appointments, and helping hospitals discharge patients in a safe and timely way - by transporting patients home. As a result, patient transport waiting times decreased. Through our contribution, NSW HealthShare has been able to redirect its resources to meet the demand of COVID-19 care.
St John NSW is contracted by the Commonwealth Government to provide a First Responder Service to the Norfolk Island community. The team provides pre-hospital care to around 2,400 people on the island – managing people, assets and first aid training for the community and visitors to the island.
A volunteer group of 15 members provide a 24/7 on-call service and assist with:
All accidents and emergencies on the island responding to 000
Medical evacuation transfers from the local hospital to the airport
Transport of deceased persons to the morgue
Marine engagement and Police ‘Search and Rescue’ when required
A high-risk rescue on Norfolk Island
In 2022, a male tourist fell 18 metres from a cliff while rock fishing. He experienced significant injuries including fractured ribs, fractured pelvis and lacerations.
St John volunteers were first on the scene to arrive and worked with the NSW Volunteer Rescue Association’s vertical rescue team. A St John volunteer was lowered to the injured male and spent four hours safely bringing him up the cliff and monitoring his condition.
"I am writing to express our gratitude and convey how impressed we were with the Norfolk Island St John team’s response to an incident that occurred.
The high level of training your members receive was evident during this incident and they clearly have experience from previous incidents in operating in this type of terrain. They all displayed demeanours of calm professionals, providing care to the injured male in a very difficult and scary environment."
Norfolk Island Police