St John volunteer honoured for her dedication

St John Queenstown ambulance officer Jeanette Anderson  was recognised  for her 27 years of...
St John Queenstown ambulance officer Jeanette Anderson was recognised for her 27 years of voluntary service in an awards ceremony at the Frankton ambulance station on Friday night. Photo by James Beech.
Helping people in times of crisis and thinking on her feet to solve problems have kept Jeanette Anderson volunteering for St John for an extraordinary 27 years.

The St John Queenstown ambulance officer was recognised for her dedication by Queenstown Lakes Mayor Vanessa van Uden and her peers within the organisation at the annual service awards evening at the weekend.

Ms Anderson was presented with a silver bar of distinction to add to an earlier medal, as well as a certificate and a bouquet of flowers.

But Ms Anderson said she was not in it for the accolades.

''I was surprised and honoured to get it. I wasn't expecting it,'' she said.

''We did get an email saying there was the awards night, but it was only when I was asked to sit at the front did I think I might win something.''

Ms Anderson joked the 27-year service recognition made her feel old. She was 11 when she was inspired by her St John-volunteering father to become a St John cadet, which led her to become a nurse, in Invercargill during the 1980s.

Ms Anderson trained to become an ambulance officer more than 13 years ago and, while the two professions were kept separate, one skill set helped the other in the field.

''As a nurse I use my assessment skills because I understand what is going to happen to them in hospital,'' she said.

''I work in the emergency department at Lakes District Hospital and ambulance officers are really well trained in emergency work.

''They're put in stressful scenarios to see how they react to medical trauma.''

Ms Anderson works at least three 12-hour shifts from 7pm to 7am a month, depending on nursing requirements, and she is grateful to her family for their support.

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