Volunteer paramedics honoured

Kevin BlakeNarrogin Observer

Four Narrogin locals were honoured at the St John Ambulance annual awards night, as were 85 other volunteer officers from around the State.

Peter Aitchison, Paul Firman and Alistair Potts were awarded service medals and Kevin Blake received a service medal first bar.

The service medal is awarded after 12 years of community service within St John Ambulance as a volunteer and a bar is awarded for each additional five years of community service.

Mr Aitchison started volunteering in the South Australian Ambulance Service in the early 1990s and continued there until 2003 when he moved to Newdegate with his family.

He joined St John Ambulance at the Newdegate sub-centre in 2004 and served two years there before relocating to Narrogin in 2006.

After a short rest period he joined the Narrogin sub-centre and has been there ever since.

Mr Aitchison believes volunteering is the lifeblood of any small community and being a volunteer ambulance officer was very rewarding.

Mr Firman joined the Narrogin sub-centre in 2004 because he felt the need to give back to the community for all the support he and his family had received in the town.

He enjoys the camaraderie of fellow volunteers and family friendships, and is currently a volunteer development officer where he is involved in training fellow volunteers.

Mr Firman is now looking at becoming a patient transport officer.

Mr Potts started with the Narrogin sub-centre about the same time as Mr Firman and they have been like brothers ever since, going on many calls together in their earlier years.

Potts’ motive is to help the community’s most vulnerable in their hour of need and he enjoys a sense of personal pride in achieving this.

He volunteers simply for the love of it and enjoys the camaraderie of fellow volunteers.

Mr Blake started in 1997 with the St John Ambulance operations branch in Melville as a volunteer first aider.

He joined because he always had a conscious need to help people.

Mr Blake was appointed as a driver trainer for operations branch vehicles in 1999.

He moved to Narrogin and joined the sub-centre in 2004 and spent two years as a volunteer ambulance officer before taking a two-year break to travel around Australia.

When returning from his holiday, Blake spent another year in Melville then moved to Bunbury for three years before moving back to Narrogin with his wife in 2011, re-joining the Narrogin sub-centre where he has been ever since.

Between all four men the awards are representative of more than 50 years of volunteer community service.

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