KCR: Volunteering provides health and safety services

These columns are contributed by the KCR Community Resources

If saving lives at work, home and play is of interest to you, Sid Bidfell, the External Recruitment Officer of the Kelowna Division of St. John Ambulance Medical First Responders would love to talk with you.

St. John Ambulance, one of the world’s oldest humanitarian organizations, started in Canada in 1883 and British Columbia in 1911. The Kelowna Division provides volunteer First Aid services to organizations and events in Kelowna and surrounding areas. They also work with other divisions in Vernon and Penticton together providing services in the Okanagan Valley.

“Our volunteers are at community events like music and sporting events, disaster response and fundraisers, to ensure that everyone has a safe time,” explains Sid. “We provide first aid services to anyone that is in need. Our members are provided continuous first aid training and volunteer with others of similar interests. Together we provide valuable health and safety services to our community.”

Although new recruits are required to have a current First Aid Certificate minimum level CPR-C/AD, ongoing additional training is offered at no cost for members. While there is a lot of flexibility for volunteers to work around their schedules, members are required to volunteer or attend training sessions for a minimum of 60 hours per year.

“Volunteering with our organization brings many happy stories, from helping someone in medical distress to personal stories,” says Sid proudly. “As just one example our members are appreciated for their care and compassion assisting the residents of Merritt and area in times of greatest need during the 2021 flooding.”

“We currently have 60 members and have provided over 3,600 volunteer hours to emergency health services, vaccinations centres, community events, responses to emergencies such as fires and flooding, continues Sid. “Our volunteers have an opportunity to network and interact with community members with a variety of backgrounds. Examples include paramedics, university students, police officers, business leaders, retirees, and selfless individuals that just want to make a difference. We meet and support residents and guests of Kelowna with professional skills. Many of our volunteers say that volunteering is a very personal and fulfilling experience.”

If you are interested in volunteering with St. John Ambulance, reach out to Sid at or find their listing on the VolunteerConnector on the KCR website at

Dorothee Birker is the communications and development coordinator for KCR Community Resources. If you are interested in sharing your volunteer or organizational news, please contact Dorothee at



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