Hailing from a Navy medical background, Alex got involved with St John NT in 2017 when he was posted to Darwin.
“I got posted up here in 2017 and thought that I wanted to do something outside of the Navy. I did my double Diploma in Paramedicine and Nursing through work and I enjoy teaching, so I thought maybe I wanted to do something working with kids.
“I started volunteering with St John NT and I loved it! I’m quite an academic nerd – people don’t see me as that but I study from like 8pm until 1am. I just love reading stuff and knowing information.
“I found that a lot of the people who were teaching at training nights didn’t have medical qualifications, so they couldn’t take it much further than the first aid book. I started doing some ad hoc lessons teaching and because of my background I understood all the anatomy and physiological parts of first aid training so I was able to explain it in a way people could understand.
“I love breaking this down for people and watching them grasp different concepts and then being able to progress to different topics.”
Alex didn’t come to St John NT with the view of being an employee.
“I literally thought I would be posted down to Sydney working as an underwater medic, so I had no expectations of being an employee. But as soon as we had a baby, I thought, I can’t keep moving around with the Navy, I really need to stay home or I’m going to miss out on so many important milestones!”
St John NT were recruiting for patient transport officers, and Alex jumped at the chance.
“As a PTO, I want to focus on my assessments and on making better decisions. So instead of just dropping someone off at the hospital and thinking ‘job’s done’, I want to think about okay, why have I been called to this person five times, what am I missing clinically, following up with the hospital and referring them to other services.
When asked if he would continue to volunteer, Alex’s answer was yes – 100%.
“In volunteering, at least where I’ve come from, you volunteer not because you want to get a job with St John NT, or you’re not just doing it because you want to be a paramedic, you do it just because you enjoy volunteering and giving back to the community.
“And it’s very evident over my years as a volunteer, the ones that want to do that, if they don’t get what they want they’ll leave straight away, whereas the ones that just genuinely enjoy volunteering and enjoy community engagement and love doing it – like I love going to community events and not touching a single patient, because you get to meet an awesome group of people.”
Alex’s song of the week?
“I’ve been listening to a lot of Amity Affliction - it’s very heavy, it may not be a taste for everyone! That, or if you want to go something a bit lighter, I don’t mind a bit of Zack Brown Band, toes of the water. That’s a good country song.”
Alex has since started the internship program as a graduate paramedic