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Emergency Response Unit Volunteers

Emergency Response Units

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Our Emergency Response Units across the country are specially trained to support local, regional, and national emergencies. Most roles require providing medical care and assistance to other response teams either on site, during evacuation, or at a temporary shelter.

About the program

St. John Ambulance plays a vital role in the critical areas of emergency preparedness and response across Canada. When a natural or human disaster strikes, St. John Ambulance volunteers are there with advanced first aid and life-saving skills, experience, and leadership.

Some of the roles our volunteers play may include:

  • On-site emergency care
  • Psychosocial peer support with trained volunteers and therapy dog teams
  • Medical care in sites and shelters
  • Medical care during evacuation
  • Community empowerment
  • Search and rescue operations
  • Auxiliary care and logistical support to authorities in health care institutions, reception centers, and other emergency facilities


What you’ll be doing


Patient Care and Psychosocial Support Volunteers

CERP members will primarily be drawn from existing medical first responders and therapy dog volunteers. These members will receive additional training and will have self-identified as being available for a short-notice call-out. CERP members will be expected to maintain their qualifications and skills through regular meetings, as well as attending additional training and exercises.

Logistics and Support Volunteers

New in name, but not in duties, logistics and support volunteers will be those members who wish to contribute to SJA but are unable to take on patient care or cannot meet the time commitments of a regular member. Periodic, but less intensive training requirements will be important to keep these members engaged with SJA. Training for L&S members may be quarterly vs. weekly, for example.

These volunteers will contribute to our day-to-day operations with:

  • Set up and teardown for larger events
  • Performing administrative tasks and handling paperwork
  • Shuttling members to and from duty locations
  • Restocking supplies and equipment

During an emergency deployment, they may also be called upon to help set up “field hospitals” from the Public Health Agency of Canada’s National Strategic Stockpiles.


St. John Ambulance will support you through a development pathway customized to your level of knowledge and certification. The pathway may include, but is not limited to: program orientation, Medical First Response course, peer-support mental health training, health and safety training, as well as opportunities to learn to use the Emergency Response Unit equipment.

Program requirements


  • You must be at least 18 years of age or older,
  • Strong affinity toward helping in emergency situations,
  • Physical and mental capability to assist on disaster sites,
  • Obtain a police record check (with letter from the organization).

We invite you to join this impactful program. Sign up today. 

St. John Ambulance is a member of the Emergency Management NGO Consortium of Canada. To learn more visit

Basecamp Connect

SJA is pleased to work with Base Camp Connect utilizing their radio connectivity technology to allow our Emergency Response Units to integrate with local authorities in times of emergency. Thanks to Base Camp Connect, our volunteer responders will be able to communicate directly with responders from other agencies at an emergency and provide a vital link to improve the flow of information when time is of the essence.

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