Lifesavers on Call: The Role of Volunteer Ambulance Officers in ANZ

Lifesavers on Call: The Role of Volunteer Ambulance Officers in ANZ

In times of medical emergencies, the quick and skilled response of ambulance officers can mean the difference between life and death. Among these dedicated professionals, volunteer ambulance officers play a crucial role, offering their time and expertise to support their communities. In Australia and New Zealand, several key organizations rely on these volunteers to deliver essential pre-hospital care. This blog explores the significance of volunteer ambulance officers, highlights key organizations, and provides information on how to join these vital services.

The Importance of Volunteer Ambulance Officers

Volunteer ambulance officers are integral to the healthcare systems in Australia and New Zealand. They provide immediate medical care, stabilize patients, and ensure safe transport to hospitals. Their contributions are especially crucial in rural and remote areas, where access to professional medical services may be limited. These volunteers undergo rigorous training to ensure they can handle a wide range of medical emergencies, from trauma to cardiac events.

Key Organisations in Australia

1. St John Ambulance Australia
St John Ambulance Australia is a major provider of volunteer-based ambulance services. With a long history of serving communities, St John volunteers deliver first aid, emergency medical services, and community education. They are often the first on the scene at public events and during emergencies, providing critical care until professional medical help arrives.

How to Join:
- Training: Volunteers receive comprehensive first aid and medical training, including advanced life support techniques.
- Commitment: Volunteers typically commit to regular shifts and participate in ongoing training sessions.
- Application: Interested individuals can apply through the St John Ambulance Australia website, where they will undergo a selection process that includes interviews and background checks.

2. Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) - Local Ambulance Committees (LACs)
In Queensland, the QAS supports volunteer participation through Local Ambulance Committees. These volunteers support ambulance services in various capacities, from community education to assisting in non-emergency patient transport.

How to Join:
- Training: QAS provides training programs tailored to the volunteer roles.
- Commitment: Volunteers engage in community outreach and support activities.
- Application: Prospective volunteers can contact their local ambulance station or visit the QAS website for more information on joining.

Key Organisations in New Zealand

1. St John New Zealand
St John New Zealand is the primary provider of ambulance services in the country, with a significant portion of its workforce composed of volunteers. These volunteers serve as ambulance officers, providing pre-hospital care and emergency medical services.

How to Join:
- Training: St John New Zealand offers extensive training programs, including first aid, patient care, and advanced medical skills.
- Commitment: Volunteers are expected to commit to regular shifts and ongoing training.
- Application: Interested individuals can apply online through the St John New Zealand website. The application process includes interviews, health checks, and police vetting.

2. Wellington Free Ambulance
Wellington Free Ambulance is the only free ambulance service in New Zealand, serving the Wellington region. Volunteers play a vital role in supporting emergency medical services and community health initiatives.

How to Join:
- Training: Volunteers undergo a comprehensive training program covering emergency care and patient support.
- Commitment: Volunteers are expected to commit to regular shifts and participate in community events.
- Application: Applications can be submitted through the Wellington Free Ambulance website. The process includes an interview, background checks, and a medical examination.

The Impact of Volunteer Ambulance Officers

Volunteer ambulance officers make a profound impact on their communities. Their presence ensures that medical emergencies are promptly addressed, often in areas where professional services might be delayed. By providing first aid training and participating in public health initiatives, these volunteers also enhance community resilience and preparedness.


Volunteer ambulance officers in Australia and New Zealand are true lifesavers, offering their time, skills, and dedication to support emergency medical services. Organizations like St John Ambulance and Wellington Free Ambulance rely on these volunteers to ensure that communities receive timely and effective medical care. For those looking to make a difference, joining as a volunteer ambulance officer is a rewarding opportunity to contribute to public health and safety.

If you're inspired to become a volunteer ambulance officer, reach out to these organizations, complete the necessary training, and become part of a dedicated team that saves lives and strengthens communities.
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