The program, operating in WA since 1936, teaches youth first aid and helps to develop the skills and abilities required to pursue a career in health services.
The program has 10 divisions including one in Wanneroo and another in Morley.
Kim Hogan and daughter Gabrielle have been part of the Morley division for six years.
According to Mrs Hogan, an email distributed to parents announced the program would be moved into schools and the current cadet program would cease because it did not deliver its mission of making first aid a part of everyone’s life.
‘The email from St John Ambulance chief executive Tony Ahern said he didn’t believe cadets was the way to go in the future,’ Mrs Hogan said.
‘I don’t disagree with what they are saying in that everybody should learn and know first aid.
‘But these are short term courses and although they will get lots of numbers, the way I look at it is everybody goes to school and everybody learns woodwork but how many of us go on to be carpenters?
‘The same thing goes with this; everyone will learn first aid but how many will go on to volunteer or progress on, and will they become our adult volunteers?’
Mrs Hogan said her daughter was disappointed with the decision.
‘She did not want to join an armed services or surf life saving cadets because she wants to be a paediatric surgeon.
‘I can’t understand why the proposed first aid program and the cadet existing program can’t run side-by- side.’
Daughter Gabrielle said the cadets offered benefits to young people including training, mentoring, service and a sense of self-worth.
SJAWA chief Tony Ahern said since the announcement to transition from cadets to a new school-based program, senior management had met with cadet managers to discuss the new program.
‘This was a positive meeting and we were able to give cadet groups a better understanding of the St John vision for youth in our state,’ he said.
The announcement has prompted more than 2000 people to sign a Facebook page.