St John Ambulance is a volunteer-led, charitable non-governmental organisation dedicated to the teaching and practice of first aid and the support of the national emergency response system in England.

The St John Ambulance Association was set up in 1877 by the Venerable Order of Saint John to teach industrial workers first aid so that they could provide on-the-spot treatment in emergencies. Workers rarely had ready access to a doctor in 19th-century workplaces, and since accidents were frequent, death or disability from injuries was common. St John Ambulance set up training sessions across the country, particularly in workplaces in areas of heavy industry.

A decade later trained volunteers were organised into a uniformed Brigade to provide a first aid and ambulance service at public events. In many of England St John Ambulance was the first and only provider of an ambulance service up to the time of the formation of the National Health Service was founded.

In 1968, the two were merged into the present foundation. There are similar organisations in other parts of the British Isles and they to other St John Ambulance organisations elsewhere in the world.The affiliated associations are overseen by the international Order of St John.

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