Our History in Alberta
St. John was established in Canada in 1883 under the (then) Dominion Council of the St. John Ambulance Association in Canada. The Dominion Council established nursing units and community services in Edmonton and Calgary in 1897 under the auspices of then Edmonton Town Mayor John McDougall who directed St. John training and community service activities in the Province through his office in Edmonton.
In 1911, after a period of significant growth in community services membership, and training close to 100 people per year in First Aid to growing populations in the two cities, the St. John Council for Alberta was organized with John McDougall as its first Chair. From 1908 until the mid 1920s St. John operated out of McDougall’s garage where training and administration were centred in Alberta.
In 1930 St. John moved into its first training centre in the Province. The mission of St. John Ambulance remains the same (with minor wording changes) after 107 years in the Province — “Enabling Canadians to improve their health, safety and quality of life by providing training and community services”
St. John Ambulance in Alberta was instrumental in bringing compulsory First Aid training to the workplace through joint lobbying with the WCB in the 1920s; providing ambulances, training, blood services and First Aid kits to the Canadian military for both world wars; lobbying for statutory First Aid standards in the 1960s and 70s and advising Government of needed changes to the First Aid Regulations throughout the 1990s.
Today, St. John Ambulance continues to play an integral role in our society. Building on more than 900 years of history, St. John Ambulance continues to provide innovative First Aid programs and products as well as provide valuable community services and support during disasters.