W Bro Mark Russell SLGR reports. 

A tympanic thermometer is a handheld electronic device that very quickly measures a person’s temperature through their ear enabling the user to make a diagnosis of the patient’s health.

St John Ambulance (SJA) has over 800 of these devices in London alone. To ensure that they give accurate readings and are in good working order, each of them has to be checked and calibrated annually. This is currently carried out by an external company that charges £15 per device – an annual cost of £12,000 to SJA.

Like many charities, SJA is currently suffering a funding crisis with losses currently running at £1.6m a week, and they are therefore looking at ways of reducing costs. They have identified that they can purchase a piece of equipment that can be used by their own staff and volunteers to carry out the calibration checks – resulting in a significant saving.
The equipment, a Welch Allyn 9600 Plus Calibration Tester, costs £1,500 and SJA recently contacted the London Freemasons’ Charity asking if support could be given to assist them in purchasing it. They describe it as a piece of equipment that will ultimately save lives.
The charity readily agreed that this was a worthy cause and authorised a full grant of £1,500.
John Anderson, Logistics Lead for SJA in West London, said that “The tester will be based at our Park Royal Operations Hub and the savings made by utilising the Freemasons’ donation will be better spent on the upkeep of our fleet of ambulances, the purchase of a defibrillator for an ambulance, or the purchase of 100 sets of uniforms for new members. SJA has a strong relationship with Freemasonry and is very grateful for the continued support from the London Freemasons’ Charity.”


This article is part of the Arena Magazine, Issue 44 April 2020 edition.
Arena Magazine is the official magazine of the London Freemasons – Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Metropolitan Grand Chapter of London.

Read more articles in the Arena Issue 44.