In 1883 Quebec City was the first Canadian branch to teach first aid courses and shortly thereafter courses were being offered in Kingston, Ontario. In the next 10 years, St. John grew to be a national organization and by 1892 had 12 branches teaching first aid from coast-to-coast. In those early years alongside the continued growth in first aid training, St. John also began a proud tradition of volunteer work in our communities. Soon the volunteers of St. John became a common and welcome sight in times of emergency in communities across the country.
Today, in more than 300 communities across Canada more than 10,000 St. John Ambulance volunteers provide over one million hours of community service per year. The financial contribution of St. John volunteers could be calculated in hundreds of millions of dollars. The contribution to safety of Canadians is immeasurable.