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Garven honoured by St. John Ambulance

Malcolm Gorrill
Northern News Services

Inuvik (Oct 12/01) - St. John Ambulance has honored a local resident with the Order of St. John Long Service Medal.

NNSL Photo

Chris Garven, left, receives the Order of St. John Long Service Medal from NWT Commissioner Glenna Hansen. - Malcolm Gorrill/NNSL photo

Chris Garven was presented with the award by NWT Commissioner Glenna Hansen. Garven has been with St. John Ambulance for about 17 years, starting in Ontario and Montreal. He came to Inuvik in 1986.

"It's nice to get that recognition," Garven said.

The award is given out to those who have volunteered for St. John Ambulance for at least 12 years, with at least 50 hours of service a year.

"I've had some years where I've put in 1,000 or 2,000 hours in one year, and I've had others where I put in, you know, 25," Garven explained.

He said that when he first started, he did a lot of public duties, where members attend social functions such as games, in case someone gets injured and needs help.

Garven said he's done some public duties in Inuvik, but most of his time has involved volunteer instruction, and working with the ambulance service.

"The volunteer instruction, we do that primarily with other community groups," he said. "It's still community service, it's just a little different."

Garven said back in 1986 the St. John Ambulance 895 Division was quite busy, but that for some time now the Inuvik brigade has been inactive.

"We're still there, but we're not active, we're not training at this point. It's something we've been looking at as the town is growing," Garven said.

"It's so transient here that it's difficult to keep anybody for a long-term kind of thing. You just get somebody trained and bang, off they go."

He said St. John Ambulance has become more stringent with its training over the last few years.