London calls for Dal employee
Faculty of Management's Marianne Hagen - Olympic volunteer
Ryan McNutt - August 1, 2012
Keeping tabs on an Olympic Games a few time zones away, on another continent, requires consideration: do you get up early and watch? Listen to the online web feed at your desk while you work? Try and stay spoiler-free and then watch in the evening?
Marianne Hagen, alumni relations officer for the Faculty of Management, doesn’t have these considerations to worry about. That’s because she’s there in person.
Ms. Hagen has been volunteering with St. John Ambulance for almost 20 years, and was given the chance to volunteer with the charitable organization as it provides first aid and CPR services in London during the Olympics.
“I’m looking forward to coming back with some great ideas,” she told Dal News earlier this month, as she was preparing for her trip. St. John Ambulance often provides support at large events, but the scale of the Olympics will provide lots of lessons and ideas for managing events back home – especially events in more remote locations.
“But, really, just getting to another country, meeting new, like-minded people, will be amazing.”
A commitment to volunteering
To say that Ms. Hagen is a devoted volunteer would be a bit of an understatement: she estimates that she probably averages upwards of 800 or 900 hours each year in her role as a St. John Ambulance supervisor for the Metro Halifax area. She’s involved in province-wide disaster planning for the organization, and also teaches first responder and basic first aid courses.
She wasn’t yet sure what her Olympic role was going to be when she chatted with Dal News, but the St. John Ambulance team won’t be focused on athlete health — athletes have their own medical teams. Instead, they’ll be supporting the medical needs of the thousands of Olympic spectators, particularly at outdoor events.
And while the hope with any first aid team is that they won’t be called into action too often, Ms. Hagen is ready to help however she can.
“I really enjoying meeting new people and, when I have to, putting my skills to work to help people.”