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The Nelson Photo News



The Forgotten Service

(Part 2)

The St. John Ambulance Brigade is involved directly, or indirectly, in many different spheres of community life, but its members are never more in the public eye than when officiating at sporting fixtures. Every Saturday, particularly in the winter months, they are rostered out for duty at sports fields throughout the province to render first aid to injured sportsmen and women. Every Saturday, in warm sunshine or in rain, these unpaid volunteers stand on the sidelines and await the three blasts on the referee's whistle demanding their presence and their specialist knowledge. There are times, few though they may be, when no injuries occur. But injuries or no injuries, the St. John members are expected to be at their posts.

We wish to stress two things. Firstly, although the sporting bodies make donations to the brigade for the services of its members, these members are, themselves, Volunteers And Unpaid. At times they suffer the abuse of spectators and players, and there have been occasions when letters of complaint have been received by the brigade because it did not happen to have a member at a particular spot at a particular time. The second point is this. The time has arrived when the brigade knows it cannot continue to supply to every group of sports grounds sufficient members to give the coverage required. In some cases, brigadesmen and women are required from 10 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. every Saturday, and the brigade just has not the members to cope.

It is surely time that clubs and governing bodies gave the brigade a helping hand-not necessarily by increasing the size of the donation. They could help by ensuring that club coaches or managers or supporters were given a grounding in first aid-a grounding which the brigade would be very happy to impart. This has been tried in the past, but the clubs have shown little interest in supporting it. They may soon have to. The brigade's line is a pretty thin one at the moment. Sometimes it wavers, but as yet it has not broken. If clubs desire a first aid service, they Must take steps to see that some of their members can do the work. By so doing, they would provide the brigade with much-needed relief and yet ensure that a first aid service was still available at all grounds.


Peter Ramsay assists a Rugby player from the field st Stoke


Waiting for an injury is Mrs Veronica Grigg, at basketball.


"Tiny" Vuijk was on duty at the soccer at Neale Park


Jean Lattin was on hand at the Botanics to provide first aid to Rosemary Martin.


And while all these people were out on duty, Margaret Bowman and Isabelle Muller (Tahuna division) were taking part in examinations.