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    QUB LINKS Review

    So here I am lads in University for the first time, and not just any University, but the best University in the COUNTRY!!!!! However, after the rush of Fresher’s Week and induction lectures, I soon found out that if I didn’t get some hearty extra-curricular activities going, University would end up to be a minimalistic affair.

    With this mind-set going, why then did I choose to join the St John Ambulance LINKS unit at QUB?

    I tell you why; in my mind this seemed to be the most useful society to join. I mean, these guys teach you everything you need to know about First-Aid; choking, bleeding, infection control, CPR for only £10! (Well, you need another £40 for the uniform, but that’s a small price to pay for looking cool!) For you Utilitarians out there, you’ll be pleased to hear that the assortment of First Aid Courses, practice sessions and programs provided by the unit has a purpose; the ultimate aim of St John Ambulance is to get its members trained to go out on duty at many events around the country to provide First Aid support on the ground. These include concerts, football internationals and many more local events.

    However, I’ve only been at this society for 5 or so weeks, so don’t take my word as gospel, that’s just the impression I’ve got by being at the place and reading their booklets. However, I can tell you truthfully what the meetings are like. The meetings take place in the clubrooms at the top of the Student Union Building on a Monday night, lasting from7PM to roughly 8.30PM. Here we’re taught the various techniques in an informal, relaxed, but informative manner from the student leaders who know what they’re doing. How do I know this? The committee members themselves step in and tell you if you’re doing something wrong; not in a psycho-teacher-rips-your-head-off fashion, but rather a-mate-coolly-says-what’s-wrong-man fashion.

    One issue that may deter people from engaging in clubs and societies is not knowing anyone. At LINKS the leaders chat to you, make you feel welcome, whilst the students are just dead on. A welcoming, enthusiastic bunch of people they are, you won’t find it hard to make friends with these guys!

    However, one aspect of the club which can’t be sugar-coated is the commitment involved. If you want a club with bite, with substance, with effort being needed to get the most out of it then welcome abroad. The fact they want us to do two duties a month volunteering whenever we’re trained up shows you they’re expecting something from us after all the killer-value training.

    So those looking for a club better run and hide, for though this club is great craic, it’s no lie whenever I say this is probably the most useful, fulfilling, rewarding club you’ll ever join in your life!


    Joining Process

    You must join if you wish to gain any of the qualifications that we offer or come on to our duties. This section is a brief explanation of the process that will enable you to become a member.

    At first glance, the procedure may seem a little time-consuming, but it is necessary to ensure the safety of our members and of any casualties that we treat. These forms must be returned before you can commence any training.

    If you have any issues with any part of the application process please feel free to contact the secretary or NI LINKS coordinator who will be glad to assist you with any part of the application!


    At QUB LINKS we offer the opportunity to go out on duty and put your skills learnt into real life situations. All training provided is free and looks great on your CV. It is estimated that SJA invests the equivalent of £750 into each member each year. In return we ask that you volunteer for two duties a month for the unit (many members do more than this!!!)

    Joining Form

    To get the ball rolling you will need to fill in a new membership application form and health declaration form. Everyone needs to fill in one of these, whether you are brand new to St John or whether you are already a member. Current members of St John do not need to transfer from their home division as you can simply be "associated" with a LINKS division for the time you are at University, please contact the secretary for details.

    SJA Adult joining form
    SJA Health declaration
    Equal Opportunities Form

    The address that you use needs to be an address that you can be contacted on once you leave university. It is therefore recommended that you use something like your parents' address or your home address.

    Please make sure that the contact number is also not your number at university, otherwise once you leave halls of residence you will not be contactable.

    If you do not feel comfortable with your medical details being seen by the committee then you are more than welcome to put that section in a separate envelope. Please write "Private and Confidential, FAO Area Medical Officer" on the front of the envelope so that we do not open it by accident.

    For the references, please make sure that you contact the person that you will be using as a reference beforehand, so that they know that they are expecting a reference form from St John Ambulance. This is the part that slows down most new applications, so please ensure that you use reliable references that will get back to St John Ambulance promptly.

    Don't forget 2 signed passport photos!

    Once you have filled in the form and signed all of the appropriate boxes you need to bring the form with you to one of the meetings or deliver it to a member of the committee ASAP.

    Official Checks

    All members are required to complete an Access NI form. These are issued directly from DHQ and must be returned before you can commence any training. From return of the forms the process time is approximately 2-3 weeks. ACCESS NI FORMS SHOULD BE RETURNED DIRECTLY WITHOUT DELAY.


    The new member course consists of one evening of introduction to the organisation of St John Ambulance and a 4 night training course on basic first aid, clinical standards and manual handling. All members, including the office staff and Ambulance drivers need to keep their basic first aid (known as Emergency Life Support or ELS) up to date


    To view the up to date training pathway please view the welcome pack. Roles we offer at QUB LINKS include:

    • Trainee First Aider
    • First Aider
    • Advanced First Aider
    • Patient Transport Attendant (PTA)
    • Emergency Transport Attendant (ETA)

    Your first duty!

    Once you have completed your application forms you need to be trained in first aid. After you have done your induction application you will be able to come onto duties as an observer. This means that you can come and see how duties work, ask questions and help the members with the first aid they are doing, but you are not allowed to perform any first aid. This is a great learning experience! When you have been with us for a while you will have covered modules that are required to become a First Aider (FA), and after you have taken an assessment for the role of first aider then you can perform first aid on duty.

    On duty you will be provided with FA Kits, Hi Viz and radios, - everything except for uniform.

    SDU Uniform

    • SDU trousers
    • Green SDU short sleeved Shirt
    • Black suitable duty shoes
    • Optional reversible fleeces

    SDU Order Form
    SDU Order Form - Appendix A

    A supply of HI VIZ coats and SDU rain coats are available from the unit stores.

    The uniform ordering form and further details including prices can be found in the welcome joining pack in the download section.

    More Links

    Facebook page   St John Ambulance link