St. John Ambulance South Africa

St John Ambulance is a charity (registered in South Africa), part of the wider international Order of St. John, dedicated to the teaching and practice of medical first aid. The charity's Latin formal motto is pro fide, pro utilitate hominum, translated as "for the faith and in the service of humanity".

St John Ambulance South Africa
Logo of St John Ambulance South Africa
MottoPro fide
Pro utilitate hominum
(Latin: for the faith and in the service of humanity)'
TypeCharitable organisation
  • 31 642 in First Aid (2007)[1]
    * 2 422 in Home Based Care (2007)[1]

The St John Ambulance uniform

The St John Ambulance uniform worn by members, is well known by many people, and members are required to wear uniform when volunteering to provide first aid or transport services, both for identification and to present a professional image. It is protected by law[3] and may only be worn by registered members. Unlike many volunteer groups, the St John uniform is relatively formal, and is similar to a British Police uniform, for which members are sometimes mistaken.

There are presently 9 orders of dress intended for different situations. No.1 and No.2 are formal ceremonial dress uniforms, the former with a tailored uniform jacket, the latter without; No.3 and No.4 are less formal, suitable for nursing duties in other medical establishments and during hot weather; No.5 is the basic operational uniform; No.6 is a casual uniform for training and informal events; No.7, No.8 and No.9 are operational uniforms for specific tasks, corresponding respectively to Patient Transport Services, Neighbourhood First Responder, and Cycle Responder.

The two most widely used are No.2 (dress uniform without tailored jacket) and No.5 (operational uniform), and these two are reasonably similar, consisting of:

  • white uniform shirt
  • black trousers (optionally with combat/cargo pockets when worn as part of No.5 uniform)
  • black NATO style V-neck sweater with similar markings to the shirt
  • Epaulettes to carry rank
  • Flashes on the shoulders, with any special role indicated via colour (black for First Aid level 1&2, green for First Aid level 3, yellow for medical practitioner, red for doctor, purple for home care.)
  • Men's peaked cap or ladies' hat, usually reserved for more formal occasions.

No.5 is essentially a more relaxed version of No.2, where more ceremonial items such as ties and caps are only worn if appropriate. In order to increase the appeal of the organisation to Islamic members, 2005 saw the addition of a uniform kameez and hijab. Cadet members may wear berets, or the recently introduced St John baseball caps, also being phased in for adult members to replace the formal peaked caps.

See also


  1. St. John. "St. John Website Stats". St. John. Retrieved Apr 13, 5:00PM EDT. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
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