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St John Ambulance WA (Ambulance Service)

St John Ambulance Western Australia (St John WA) is a non-profit, charitable organisation providing first aid services and training, urgent care, patient transport, ambulance and other medical services in Western Australia. It has provided the statutory ambulance service in Western Australia since 1922.[1] These services are provided through a combination of paid and volunteer staff. St John WA is funded through a combination of government funding, Lotterywest grants, corporate and private donations and user pays services.[2]

St John WA
St John WA Logo
MottoLife Goes On
TypeCharitable organisation
Limited company
HeadquartersBelmont, Western Australia, 6104
Michelle Fyfe
Key people
Shayne Leslie (Chairman)
Parent organisation
St John Ambulance Australia
SubsidiariesSt John Medical Services
AffiliationsOrder of St John
St. John Ambulance
Staff (2017)
Volunteers (2017)

Western Australia and the Northern Territory are the only two states or territories in Australia which do not have an ambulance service provided by government agencies and regulated by legislation.[3]


As of 2017, St John WA has a fleet of 531 ambulance vehicles and 217 other vehicles.[4]

Ambulance - Mercedes Benz Sprinter (various specifications, including 4X4), Toyota Land Cruiser Troop Carrier (regional only), Ford F 150/250 (past use).

Paramedic/Command - Subaru Forester, Holden Colorado 7/Trailblazer, Toyota Land Cruiser 100/200, Ford Ranger (regional), Ford Falcon (still some regional use, older models).

First Aid - Mercedes Benz Sprinter (first aid post/event management), Suzuki APV (previously Carry/Holden Scurry), Holden Colorado, Nissan Pathfinder, Hyundai I40.

Support and Transfer - Mercedes Benz Sprinter (logistics and transfer), Toyota HiAce (wheelchair patients), MAN truck (multiple patient vehicle), Isuzu N Series (incident support vehicles and command post).

Helicopters - Aeromedical role is offered by RAC Rescue with 2 Bell 412's based out of Perth and Bunbury


Previous uniforms were the traditional white shirts with black trousers, these were replaced during the 1970's with blue trousers and a white smock for summer uniform, along with a white skivvy and blue jacket for winter. In 1981 the uniforms changed to blue trousers, blue shirt and a blue jacket with tie for winter. In 1983 a padded winter jacket with reflective stripes replaced the blue jacket. Ties were discontinued at that time as they were impractical in the field. In 1995 a light green shirt, teamed with dark green pants and jacket was introduced. In the late 2000's the uniforms were upgraded to the new style of all over, utility suit. These consist of a black undershirt with dark green shirt, jacket and pants with reflective stripes. Rescue helmets are utilised in certain situations along with high visibility vests with officer rank visible.


In July 2009, the ABC's Four Corners broadcast a report identifying failures in St John's call-out system, specifically the failure of call centre operators to appropriately prioritise and respond ambulances.[5] The program identified four deaths in which dispatch and prioritisation errors were involved. The WA Health Minister, Dr Kim Hames, has since promised to review "reports of significant wrongdoing, and see if it is correct" in order to prevent recurrence of such events.[6]

On 24 March 2015, the ABC's 7.30 reported on poor management and culture within St John in Western Australia which led an ambulance officer to commit suicide.[7]

External linksEdit


  1. ^ "Our History". St John Ambulance WA. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  2. ^ "Funding and Donations". St John Ambulance WA. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  3. ^ "Delivering Western Australia's Ambulance Service" (PDF). Office of the Auditor General Western Australia. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  4. ^ "Annual Report 2016/17" (PDF). St John Ambulance WA. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  5. ^ "Out of Time". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 8 July 2009.
  6. ^ "Four Corners Program Transcript". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 8 July 2009.
  7. ^ "Families of paramedics who took their own lives call for action from St John Ambulance in WA". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 24 March 2016.