St John volunteering life changing

25 May, 2016

For Daniel Ciccosillo, his service with St John Ambulance started at a young age.

When he was just ten, his friend took him along to a St John Ambulance meeting bring a friend night and he never left.

While he can’t quite pinpoint what got him hooked, over the last 21 years Daniel has never looked back.
As a 10-year-old, Daniel was able to go to one or two public events but once he turned 11 he became a cadet and was able to go to all public events ending before 6pm. After 14, cadets can go to any events as they choose.

As a cadet, his passion for his work with St John was already strong and at just 17 he received a badge for attending 2000 hours of public events.

“Doing the work with St John I found the passion to pursue a career in health, I chose nursing because I liked the environment,” Daniel said.

“Because I’ve done this for so long now and grown up with it, it’s become part of my life. If I joined now I think I would struggle to balance my time. But my passion is ongoing, I love doing it. It would be a very big hole in my life if I wasn’t doing the work with St John.

“It became family for me…Quite literally because I also met my wife through St John.”

He and his wife now have four children, ranging in age from eight to four months.

Pictured: Susan Fayers, St John CEO Stephen Horton and Daniel Ciccosillo.

Over the years Daniel has worked his way through the ranks from a cadet, to his current role as Grade 3 State Manager, Emergency Management Department. A position he’s held since 2013.

St John plays a vital role in emergency management and response as the lead first aid provider within the State Health Emergency Response Plan (SHERP). They provide first aid and medical services to other emergency service agencies and members of the public when requested by Ambulance Victoria.

St John’s Emergency Management Team is in place to ensure they are always equipped, prepared and up to date and have systems and procedures in place so they can be fully deployed as an emergency arises.
“Whether the deployments are planned or unplanned the work we do along the way helps in both areas,” Daniel said.

St John has a range of first aid support capabilities including first aid vehicles, first aider/first responder and medical teams that have been deployed to various emergency situations through Victoria and interstate.

In the last 10 years, St John has responded to 650 emergency events including the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires, the 2012 Queensland floods, the Hazelwood Mine Fire in 2014, the 2014 Victorian bushfires and, more recently, the Wye River bushfires.

They also work with DELWP on planned burns, and depending on the size may get activated for health monitoring of firefighters coming off the line.

As well as an understanding family, Daniel said a key factor in his ability to dedicate so much time to St John and his volunteer work is having an understanding and supportive employer.

With over 2000 active adult volunteers, St John plays a critical role in emergency management. It is one of nine agencies and two associations to be sign the Emergency Management Volunteer Statement.

The Statement highlights the range of volunteer-based agencies involved in emergencies and showcases the diverse skills and variety of work they do in communities across our state before, during and after emergencies.

To learn more about the work of St John Ambulance or becoming a volunteer, visit www.stjohnvic.com.au/ (External link)

St John Ambulance Australia quick facts:
• St John Ambulance Victoria is a predominantly self-funded charity that has been providing services to Victorians for over 130 years.
• St John commenced the first ambulance service in Melbourne
• In 2015 St John provided 289,038 hours of service at 4291 events, treating 26,949 people.
• 2000 active adult volunteers Australia-wide
• Volunteer and community activities are funded by proceeds from business activities including First Aid training and kit sales.
• St John also relies on donations and support from individuals and organisations.