Awards for our unsung heroes
By KEN SAPWELL
THEY'RE the unsung heroes of sporting fixtures throughout Australia, ever ready on the sidelines to treat everything from minor sprains to head injuries.
The familiar black-and-white uniformed members of St John Ambulance Australia volunteer their time mostly at weekends to ease the load of the NSW Ambulance Service.
Yesterday two members of the Kingscliff division of the St John service were each recog- nised for 12 years of service to the public.
Sharelle Clement and Gayanne Gleave received their long-service medals from St John Ambulance NSW State commissioner, Major General Warren Glenny, during his first visit to the Tweed.
The two are typical of the 14 volunteers in the Kingscliff division: Ms Clement works fulltime as an administrator at a local primary school and Ms Gleave as a housewife, giving up their spare time to attend events where people are likely to need medical treatment.
Ms Gleave said she became interested in joining the service after getting an insight into its role when her then eight-year-old son signed up for his traineeship.
"I enjoy the volunteer work because it's rewarding to be able to help people in need of medical treatment," said Ms Gleave.
This year they and their colleagues attended over 100 public events in the Tweed, treating over 500 casualties while sacrificing 3000 hours of their time.
Maj Gen Glenny said demand for his members services had increased sharply because liability insurers were now insisting that first-aid trained personnl were present at many school and public events.
He said the the service was always looking for new volunteers.