U of G staff member honoured by Queen, Governor-General
A University of Guelph staff member will be honoured with admission to the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem June 5 for his dedication to St. John Ambulance.
Michael Yingbull, a systems analyst in Computing and Communications Services, will be honoured as Serving Member of the Order of St. John by Lieutenant-Governor James Bartleman during a ceremony at Queen’s Park. Admission to the Order of St. John is granted by Queen Elizabeth II, the sovereign head of the Order of St. John, who is represented in Canada by Governor General Adrienne Clarkson.
“It is certainly an honour to get recognition for doing something that you like and that’s seen of value to others,” said Yingbull.
The Order of St. John has aimed to help the sick and injured since 1099 AD. It has played a role in Canada since its 1883 inception and carries out its work through the St. John Ambulance Society and by supporting the St. John Eye Hospital in Jerusalem.
Yingbull is currently a district staff officer for St. John Ambulance Southwestern Ontario, a senior management volunteer role. He has shown his dedication to the volunteer organization in many roles since 1995, when he began volunteering with the Guelph branch in his final year of high school.
In 1998, Yingbull started an ambulance cadet group in Halton Hills, where he spearheaded a defibrillation program. He designed and raised funds for an all-terrain John Deere “Med-Bed” Gator to get to injured people in hard-to-access areas. He was also a member of a national team designing a new leadership course for cadets.
Hundreds of volunteers in workplaces and St. John offices across Ontario have learned life-saving first aid skills under Yingbull’s guidance. “I’ve taught courses everywhere from Whitby to Windsor,” he said. He was certified as a first aid and CPR instructor in 1997, then became certified to teach courses in oxygen administration, automated external defibrillation and advanced medical first responder.
Yingbull has served St. John Ambulance during many big events and emergency situations, including the ice storm of 1998, Caribana, World Youth Day and the Winnipeg Pan-American Games. While he was a U of G student, he also used his first aid skills on campus as a member of the First Response Team. During the SARS outbreak, he delivered isolation kits to people in quarantine. He has also worked in Toronto during cold alerts, checking on the homeless and providing transportation to shelters.
“It’s a challenge and it’s also a chance to see different events in the community,” said Yingbull. “It’s rewarding when people thank us for watching out for them.”
He was volunteering with St. John at the CNE three years ago when the swing ride collapsed. “When things are happening, the training really kicks in and you just remember what you need to do and you become very focused on what the patient needs.” He has dealt with injuries and illnesses ranging from scrapes to broken arms to dehydration.
June 5 will be the second time Yingbull received a medal granted by the Queen. In 2003, he was recognized for his volunteer work with a Queen’s Jubilee Medal. The medals commemorated the 50th anniversary of Her Majesty's reign as Queen of Canada and were awarded to Canadians who have made a significant contribution to their fellow citizens, their community or their country.
For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rachelle Cooper, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982.