SJAM in the 21st Century (2000-present)

The training underwent several changes when we crossed the millennium. In 2001, SJAM launched the first Emergency Medical Technician Course in collaboration with the Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. The SJAM Tutors’ Workshop was conducted on 13 October 2001 at the National Headquarters. To streamline the administration and coordination of all SJAM units in the Teachers’ Training Colleges, the Kawasan Bahagian Pendidikan Guru (Teachers’ Education Division) was granted an Area status, headed by an Area Commander in 2002.

 To enhance the publicity of the organisation, the National Headquarters set up its own website in 2003. The “Berita” bulletin which later renamed “The Responder” was published in full colour.

SJAM further extended its service scope to the community services. Kawasan Utara Perak launched its Nursing Home for the Elderly in 2003, Melaka Area 2 launched its Heart Screening Centre in 2005 while SJAM Pulau Pinang launched its Emergency Medical Assistance Service (EMAS) in 2005. Based on feedback received at the 2004 National Conference, the National Headquarters revised the General Regulations and Dress Regulations in 2006. The most significant changes being the Adult Ambulance and Nursing Members uniform. In 2007, the National Headquarters implemented the changes to meet the needs of field works and ceremonial occasions. Penang launched its Cycle Responder Unit in 2007 to provide first aid during sports and festive events.

SJAM celebrated its first centenary in 2008. Several events such as the National Review, International Cadet Camp, Expedition to Mount Kinabalu, Mass CPR Demonstration and Gala Dinner were held to commemorate this grand milestone of achievements. Special commemorative medals were issued to the entitled supporting members and public. A special edition First Day Cover with commemorative stamps and a commemorative coin set with face value of RM1, RM10 and RM100 were issued by POS Malaysia and Bank Negara Malaysia respectively.

Sichuan, China was hit by a massive devastating earthquake in 2008. SJAM Kawasan Pantai Selangor  (SJAM KPS) organised activities for fund raising and relief efforts for the earthquake victims. The relief project was later extended to the setting up of 15 polyclinics in remote villages of Shaanxi Province, China.

A research project on SJAM history was initiated in 2006, which led to the publication of a book titled “A Remarkable Century of Service”. The special commemorative publication was launched by HRH Sultan of Selangor in Kuala Lumpur on 17 June 2010. In December 2010, SJAM organised the first Emergency Medical Air Rescue Service Course in collaboration with the Royal Malaysian Police. The project was to train SJAM members in assisting the police force during air rescue operations. To better prepare its members in managing disasters, SJAM conducted a Disaster Preparedness and Management Conference in November 2014, with speakers from government agencies and hospitals, at the Royal Malaysia Police Air Operation Force Training Base in Ipoh, Perak. In December 2014, SJAM responded to a call to assist in the airlift operations of transporting flood relief supplies to the East Coast, Malaysia. In the same year, SJAM started the first collaboration with MBO Cinemas (MCAT Box Office Sdn Bhd) in organising the annual nationwide blood donation exercise during the SJAM Flag Day month. 2018 marks the 5th consecutive year of collaboration between SJAM and MBO in this programme.

For better communication with the public, social media is being utilised. St. John Ambulance of Malaysia Facebook page was created on 8 April 2011 for this purpose.

On 25 May 2015, following a devastating earthquake which struck Nepal, SJAM immediately set-up the SJAM-Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund to receive donations and organised several relief expeditions to Nepal. In collaboration with the Nepal Eye Hospital (NEH) and Rotary Club of Thamel (Kathmandu), vital supplies and medications were donated to the earthquake victims. With the balance of the Fund, SJAM started the Nepal Outreach Programme aimed at training the Nepalese volunteers in first aid.

The National Headquarters building went through a period of refurbishment and was reopened in June 2015 with a new addition of the SJAM Archive and Gallery. In September, the National Headquarters introduced the Standard Operating Procedures to streamline the operation within the organisation. In 2016, the National Headquarters launched the Emergency Rescue Unit (later Emergency Respond Unit). This was followed by the National Disaster Preparedness Workshops with the support from United Parcel Service (UPS) where workshops were being held in 4 regions. The HRH Sultan of Selangor launched the very first SJAM bariatric ambulance, designed to carry obese patients, in Malaysia in May 2016. In November, Dato’ Dr. Low Bin Tick was installed as the Bailiff Grand Cross by the Grand Prior of the Order of St. John, HRH Duke of Gloucester. A grand dinner was organised to honour Dato’ Dr Low’s retirement as the longest serving Council Chairman cum Commander-in-Chief and his invaluable service to the organization and community. The Cadet and School Division Guide Book and General Regulations 2nd Edition were published by National Headquarters in December 2016. In January 2017, the Dress Regulations 3rd Edition was launched to incorporate the introduction of new service uniform and simplification of accessories. Dato’ Lai See Ming took over the baton from Dato’ Dr. Low as the 7th Chairman of Council and Commander-in-Chief in December 2016. SJAM, in collaboration with Petronas, launched the Coffee Break Campaign to cultivate a culture of road safety among motorists, especially during festive seasons. In October 2017 the updated First Aid Syllabuses, Class Regulations and Standardisation was launched during the Training Seminar and Workshop in Kuala Lumpur.

SJAM clinched several national records in the Malaysia Book of Records. In 1998, SJAM achieved a record as the first NGO owned and operated the most ambulances in Malaysia. In 2000, SJAM Melaka secured a record in the Malaysia Book of Records for exhibiting 2,000 golden dragons, which were later sold to raise funds for its haemodialysis centre. This was followed by SJAM Pulau Pinang for being the first NGO in the country to be awarded the ISO 9002 certification in First Aid Training. SJAM KPS was the first NGO to attain ISO 9001:2000 certification (Scope: provision of Ambulance Services, Management of Haemodialysis Centres, Membership Recruitment and First Aid Training). SJAM KPS also attained similar ISO certification for being the first NGO Dialysis Centre (Scope: Dialysis Centre). Both the certification status were recorded in the Malaysia Book of Records in August 2002. In 2016, SJAM KPS was also recognized as the record holder for the Longest Running Ambulance Service (38 Years), The First Bariatric Ambulance in Malaysia and The Most Number of Ambulance Fleet in A District by the Malaysia Book of Records.

Today, the name St. John Ambulance is synonymous with First Aid and ambulance service in Malaysia. Our members continue to practice our motto “Pro Utilitate Hominum” – For the Service of Mankind – the tradition of serving the sick and poor. For decades to come, St. John Malaysia is committed to provide high-quality service to the people through innovations.