13/04/2015 - 16:45

St John grows sustainably

13/04/2015 - 16:45


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THE state’s biggest provider of first aid courses has transformed its service offering amid an influx of cut-price market entrants.

St John grows sustainably
SERVICE GROWTH: Jane Mahon in the new St John Ambulance first aid super centre in Belmont. Photo: Attila Csaszar

THE state’s biggest provider of first aid courses has transformed its service offering amid an influx of cut-price market entrants.

Eighteen months into her role as general manager, first aid services and training, with St John Ambulance, Jane Mahon, told Business News the business continued to pursue growth opportunities as its market changed.

“We sought to achieve sustainable growth rather than superficial quick wins,” Ms Mahon said.

“We looked at how we could grow the first aid business component without losing sight of St John’s core mission for the service of humanity.”

When Ms Mahon started at St John it offered 180,000 first aid courses in Western Australia each year; currently it is on target to reach 244,000 courses by the end of the financial year.

St John is set to open four new ‘super centres’, including one at its Belmont headquarters, transforming existing training rooms into one-stop shops offering first aid equipment for sale and electronic booking services.

A number of first aid providers have entered the market or changed their services in recent years to offer discounted first aid courses.

At the time Business News went to press, seven companies in Western Australia were advertising $99 first aid courses, with three discount offers from group buying agencies having expired recently.

A St John’s first aid course costs between $160 and $199, depending on the length of course.

It offers a $99 unaccredited course, a growing part of its business, which targets parents and adult sporting or club leaders who want first aid skills but aren’t legally required to have a certification.

Ms Mahon said St John continued to expand the reach of its services to individuals and corporate clients, including Rio Tinto, Chevron and Western Power, despite the increased competition because it offered a premium service with longer, more thorough classes.

“The important part is making sure that everyone is aware of first aid and ... able to handle situations like if somebody has anaphylaxis or administration of an epi pen; we teach people how to do that,” she said.

“We teach people about burns and snake bites, so it’s not just about CPR, we teach a myriad of first aid that will help people in any situation.”

As St John’s first aid program has grown, it has also ploughed more profits into charitable work such as free services First Aid Focus, which recently celebrated providing first aid training to its 500,000th WA school child since 2009, and Click to Save, a 30-minute online CPR course.


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