St. John Ambulance movement has its roots in the great medieval crusading orders, that of Knights Hospitallers. In India, Mahatma Gandhi Ji, the patriarch of Indian leaders, was immensely influenced by its humanitarian ideals of service to suffering humanity. He put them into practice in mitigating the misery and sufferings of the 1899 African Boer War and the 1906 Zulu Rebellion victims when he was in Africa as a young Barrister. Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru also served this organization during nineteen twenties in Lucknow chapter.
Compassion is the linchpin of men‟s evolution from the savage leads to the civilized state. The highest quality of sympathy felt by man towards his suffering fellowmen forms the very basis of St. John Ambulance ideals, compassion + Skill makes the St. John Ambulance (India). The work of St. John Ambulance in India commenced early in the 19th century, and formally established in 1912, a few years prior to the establishment of Indian Red Cross in the country.
Since the establishment of Brigade Wing of St.John Ambulance (India) in Delhi in 1935 with the object of enrolling trained volunteers in First Aid, Home Nursing, Hygiene & Sanitation and allied subjects, grouping them in Ambulance and Nursing divisions/corps with the object of rendering all kind of relief and charitable services and has emerged over the years as a premier voluntary agency for providing basic health education to a broad spectrum of the community and enrolling such trained people as volunteers to mitigate the sufferings and misery of sick and wounded in large congregations and emergencies like Wars etc.
The Brigade retains on its roll about 6000 volunteers in Delhi, all trained in first-aid and allied subjects, comprised in about 400 Divisions and Corps spread over in Delhi. After taking first aid training, the volunteers join the Brigade for humanitarian services for providing first-aid cover on demand, whenever and wherever required in large gatherings i.e. Sports, Melas, Festivals, Conferences, Guru Parvs, Urs, Tazias, celebrations of Religious Functions of different communities and in emergencies viz. floods, fires, accidents, earthquakes and in catastrophic situations.
People from different walks of life viz. Students, Teachers, Employees from Govt., Semi Govt. departments and personnel from Public/Private sector, Youth associations, NGOs and other agencies join the Brigade as Volunteers and take Basic Advance Training before serving the cause of Humanity. During the year under review, the Brigade has rendered assistance to about 3.75 lacs people for minor ailment and transported 3010 serious casualties to nearby medical complexes/hospitals and attended 4800 cases through Health Centers and Health Check
up Camps etc.