Guernsey's St John Emergency Ambulance marks 85th birthday

CREDIT: Reg Blanchford (from Guernsey’s Occupation Ambulance Service)
The service's first ambulance was dispatched to respond to an emergency call on 2 June 1936. Credit: Reg Blanchford (Guernsey’s Occupation Ambulance Service)

Guernsey's St John Emergency Ambulance Service is celebrating its 85th birthday.

The organisation was founded on 2 June 1936, when a group of volunteers responded to an emergency call in a second-hand ambulance.

From those humble beginnings, the service now responds to between 5,000 and 6,000 emergency calls every year, saving lives and supporting those in need.

The St John charity also provides volunteers to work on the Flying Christine III marine ambulance and the Volunteer Ambulance Reserves.

During the Occupation, St John also provided medical care and transport for those who stayed in the island. It later expanded into areas such as, cliff rescue, inshore rescue boats and the marine ambulance.

From its base at the site of the old concrete works at the Rohais in St Peter Port, the service operates a fleet of five ambulances, three response cars and a 4x4 response vehicle, along with two non-emergency patient transfer ambulances.

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the organisation has helped to decontaminate ambulances.