Humble start to ambulance service success in Gingin and Chittering

Members of the Chittering Gingin St John Ambulance Sub-Centre: Rick Choules, Sally Gifford, John Fewster, Darryl Kemp, Vee Cheriton and Bob Blizard at the 50th anniversary event.
Members of the Chittering Gingin St John Ambulance Sub-Centre: Rick Choules, Sally Gifford, John Fewster, Darryl Kemp, Vee Cheriton and Bob Blizard at the 50th anniversary event.

AMBULANCE services in Gingin and Chittering have changed dramatically over the past 50 years.

In the early 1960s, patients were transported to hospital in a station wagon on an army stretcher modified to fit in the vehicle.

But as a result of community support and fundraising, a purpose-built ambulance was purchased in 1965.

More than 120 people gathered earlier this month to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the volunteer service, which now operates as the Chittering Gingin St John Ambulance Sub-Centre.

The event was held at Bindoon Town Hall and guests included past and present ambulance officers, drivers, dispatch operators, committee members and St John Ambulance representatives.

Former volunteer ambulance officer and chairman Darryl Kemp was involved with the service for more than 20 years.

“The period I spent with the sub-centre was one of the most rewarding times of my life,” he said.

“To be involved with such wonderful people who just wanted to be there to help save lives of others was a privilege.”