The First Aid and Nursing Competition is one of the important activities in SJAM, not only due to its long history but also for its role in promoting and improving First Aid standards among members. The competition originated from the St. John Ambulance in England, which can be traced back to the British Transport Commission (Railway and Docks) Competition in 1897. It was intended to improve the first aid and nursing standards of first aiders at railway yard and docks.
The first Federal (now National) First Aid and Nursing Competition was held in Kuala Lumpur on 14 December 1957. It was opened to all states in Malaya. The early competitions were held in secondary schools around Kuala Lumpur. Competitions at State- and Area-level were held at their respective headquarters. In 1960, teams from Singapore were invited to
participate and a year later saw the first Pan-Malayan (later changed to Malaysia-Singapore) First Aid and Nursing Competition held at Gay World (Happy World) Stadium in Singapore. In the same year, the Malayan Railway held its
first inter-division competition. Since 1964, teams from Sabah and Sarawak have participated in national First Aid and Nursing competitions.
The national First Aid and Nursing competitions were held in various places outside Kuala Lumpur. In 1970, the competition was held in Georgetown Secondary School in Pulau Pinang. Other than Pulau Pinang, the competitions were also held in Kedah (1980), Terengganu (1985, 2007), Perak (1988), Selangor (1978, 1979, 2000) and Johor (2008). Some of the earlier competitions in 1950s and 1960s were graced by the presence of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Raja Permaisuri Agong. Banquet dinners-cum-prize giving ceremonies were held at Dewan Bahasa Pustaka, hotels and function halls.
Teams Formation and Competition Structure
Teams competing at national competitions were selected from winning teams from respective State and Area competitions. Medical officers and nurses from local hospitals or health clinics acted as judges. Winners of Area-level competitions represented their Area for State-level competitions. Similarly, State-level champions represented their States in the National-level competitions. The winners of the National competitions represented Malaysia in the biennial Malaysia-Singapore First Aid and Nursing Competition. Each competition team consists of five members of which one member is a reserve. The team leader is usually the most senior member of the team. The teams are categorised into Nursing Cadets, Ambulance Cadets, Nursing Adults and Ambulance Adults.
There were four events in the original First Aid and Nursing Competition - Foot Drill and Uniform Test (50 points), Short Case Test (100 points, previously known as Dual Test), Stretcher Drill Test (100 points) and Long Case Test for Ambulance members (previously known as Team Test) or Practical Nursing for Nursing members (150 points). The Stretcher Drill was removed from the competitions in 1999 due to time constraints and changes in the organisation’s routine operations.