Meet the Raglan St John crew

Like all stations around the country Raglan St John is made up of a mix of paid and volunteer crew.

Station manager Bush Barton is the only fulltime paid staffer holding the fort from 8am-4.30pm Mon to Fri, and he’s backed up by a core team of volunteer emergency medical technicians (EMT) and first responders – Gord Thomas, Isaac van der Vossen, Chellé Bradley, Stacey Scott, Janice Tapp, Shelley Rikys, Louise Brown, Carol Millar and relief crew member Vic Kilpatrick – covering after hours calls.

Bush is in his 17th year with St John now and like many other paid ambulance officers he started his career as a volunteer keen to help in the community. Meeting new people and making a difference in their hour of need is what drives him in this high intensity role. A qualified EMR, Bush is trained to deal with medical and traumatic events. Spending time with family and motorcycling are big on his list of things to do when he’s not busy with work.

EMT Janice Tapp joined St John around 20 years ago, to look after the community attending and participating in events and was eventually talked into training as an ambulance officer. “I enjoy many aspects of St. John, mostly meeting and caring for the people who need assistance and interacting with colleagues who share varied interests.”

Shelley Rikys, another EMT, has worked for St John for 8 years and was inspired by her grandmother making use of her St John medical alarm to become a volunteer. “When I attended an open day, I discovered so much coverage was by volunteers and that Jan was doing a lot of single crew shifts and at night, so I decided I needed to help.” During the day she works for ASB in a training/development role with the rural team and being in Raglan means she can spend her leisure time fishing, paddle boarding, yoga and gardening.

Chellé Bradley has been a volunteer at Raglan station for 3 years and holds a National Diploma in Emergency Care (EMT). She says being able to assist people when they are hurt or unwell and making a difference in people’s lives is what inspired her to join St John. “I was always interested in being an ambulance officer and I wanted to do something to help our community.” when she’s not out on calls she works at Raglan Organic Knots, creating and taking care of dreadlocks.

Isaac Van Der Vossen has been with the crew for two years as a volunteer ambulance first responder. He reckons helping people and getting a smile at the end of the day is the best part of his job and would love to work for St John fulltime in the future. “I enjoy the medical side of life but didn’t want to become a doctor, so this is a better way to go.” Isaac also volunteers at the Raglan Surf Life-Saving Club and works as a merchandiser around the country.

Raglan St John is always on the lookout for new volunteers to join the team contact bushb@stjohn.org.nz to find out more. Volunteers are given full training by St John.