St. John Ambulance was first established in Malaya, SJAA was responsible for training both members and the public in first aid and allied subjects such as nursing, hygiene, nutrition and food handling. First aid classes were usually conducted by doctors, officers or members who were trained as lay-lecturers (now known as trainers). When the Association and Brigade were
amalgamated, the training came under the responsibility of the Chief-of-Staff (Training).
Lay-lecturers’ courses were conducted by doctors to train officers and members as first aid instructors. The National Headquarters organised the national-level Lay-Lecturers’ courses in 1977 and 1978. In the early days, First Aid manuals in English were purchased from the United Kingdom. In 1963, the District Headquarters in Malaya took the initiative to translate the first aid book into Malay. This move was intended to promote first aid knowledge among the local population, particularly in the rural areas. With the help of Dato’ Mohd. Salleh bin Ismail, Commissioner of Police Malaysia, the First Aid Manual in Malay was published in 1963. The translation was vetted by Encik Mohamed bin Nawi from the Ministry of Health. The Hygienic Food Handling Manual was subsequently translated into Malay and was sent to London for publication.
Following the visit of Major-General Michael Walsh, Director of Overseas Relations, two tutors from SJA Wiltshire county, United Kingdom came to Malaysia in 1992 to conduct the “Training-the-Trainers” course. The “Training-the-Trainers” course has since replaced the old Lay-Lecturers’ Course. The first National Training Seminar and Workshop was held in 1993 to streamline the training syllabus and teaching materials. The training seminar became a regular event for the trainers to meet and share experiences. In 1994, SJAM revised its training syllabus and introduced the Three Star Award, Elementary First Aid, First Aid at Work, Advanced First Aid, CPR, Trainer and Tutor (First Aid). It also revised its Examination Report Forms, Examiners’ Forms and Class Attendance Form, Course Registration, Course Participants’ Enrolment Forms and Trainers’ Assessment Form. This was followed by the Emergency First Aid Seminar held in 1995 in preparation for the North-South Highway Emergency Ambulance Service.
In 1998, SJAM members participated in the First Responder Life Support (FRLS) training organised by the Ministry of Health in preparation for the Commonwealth Games. Our trainers were also given the responsibility to train the first aiders who would be on duty during the Games. An Emergency Medical Technician-Basic (EMT-B) course on pre-hospital care was organised in collaboration with Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) in 2001.
SJAM began the use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in the ambulances in the same year. On 13 October 2001, a Tutors’
Workshop was organised at the National Headquarters to upgrade
SJAM trainers to tutors. They were selected based on their training skills and experience. To date, SJAM actively promotes
first aid knowledge and its awareness to the public, industrial
and government sectors. It provides a vast range of training
programmes and has become the leading organisation in providing
First Aid Training in the country.