St John Ambulance is a trade name used by a number of affiliated organisations in different countries, counties, states or provinces dedicated to the teaching and practice of medical first aid and the provision of ambulance and community volunteer services, all of which derive their origins from the St John Ambulance Association founded in 1877 in the United Kingdom.The active uniformed first-aiders known as the St John Ambulance Brigade or Community Services were introduced in 1887.There are now more than 500,000 such volunteers worldwide.The brand name and logo are owned by the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem with the international office located in London, England. Logos may vary in each country but always contain the eight-pointed Maltese Cross as the essential identifier.
The membership aspect of St John Ambulance is largely ranked, and members fall into a hierarchical structure of reporting. Ranks run from corporals, through sergeants and officers all the way up to high national ranks, but there is significant variation between Priories and it is hard to generalise the structure too much from an international perspective.
Most members of St John Ambulance are not themselves members of the Order, and vice versa, so a major presence of the Order does not dictate a major presence of St John Ambulance. Most notably, the Order of St John and St John Ambulance are non-denominational, so as to serve all. St John Ambulance works on a more geographical nature than the Order, and has to contend with the differing national laws, medical practices and cultures of countries.
St. John Ambulance India is the Indian branch of St. John Ambulance, an international organization involved in teaching and practice of medical first aid and the provision of ambulance services. It has its national headquarters in Delhi and operates as a federation. There are two operational wings often called the Association Wing (which delivers first aid training) and the Brigade Wing (which delivers First Aid at public events).
St John Ambulance India is made up of: 23 State centres, 9 railway centres, 3 Union centres and over 670 regional, district and local centres of the Association. 29 districts comprising over 2,400 divisions and corps where St John volunteers are trained to deliver First Aid.
Primarily, St John Ambulance India delivers First Aid training and in 2010, St John India trained a total of 229,372 adults in First Aid as well as 2,593 children and young people and treated a total of 216,697 patients throughout the year.
Surgeon-Major William George Nicholas Manley of the Royal Regiment of Artillery established St John Ambulance in 1873. In 1912, the St John Ambulance Association was granted autonomy and the Council was created. The first Nursing division was established in 1913 and the first Cadet division in 1925. Prior to 1934, St John Ambulance and the Indian Red Cross maintained separate identities although they undertook joint relief work. The two organisations became affiliated in 1934 to ensure harmonious relations between the two bodies, to avoid overlapping and to ensure that ambulance work was given its rightful place in conjunction with Red Cross responsibilities. At independence, the Indian St John Council was granted entire control over the work that was being carried out in 526 divisions.
St. John Ambulance (Parsi Ambulance Division) was first started in Bombay in 1902. St. John Ambulance activities started in Calcutta around 1905 and 1910.
St. John Ambulance National Activities started in 1912. In Bengal, when St. John Ambulance activities started, it had its units in all the districts of Bengal (including East Bengal, now Bangladesh).