14 February 2011
Standing on the red carpet watching the likes of Paul McCartney and Samuel L Jackson strolling by, then saving a fainting woman – just another day as a Red Cross first aid volunteer, really.
When the cream of Hollywood and British acting talent turned up for the BAFTAs on Sunday (13 February), a team of 18 event first aid volunteers were on hand lest anyone became just that bit too star-struck.
Five volunteer teams spent a long, busy day – more than ten hours – stationed along the soggy red carpet. They were on hand to deal with any medical needs, but also helped keep up the spirits of some of those who’d arrived early on a cold, wet day to get a good viewing position.
First aid volunteer Mark Ryan said: "This was quite an exciting gig, and a bit different from the usual first aid events we attend. We had an early start and the weather wasn't great – but being posted right on the edge of the red carpet made up for that.”
As the day wore on the crowd got more and more excited, with people anticipating a glimpse of some really big names. Mark recalled: “The atmosphere got really electric when the stars started to arrive. From our standpoint we saw Paul McCartney, Samuel L Jackson, Emma Watson and Peter Jones from Dragon's Den.”
Unsurprisingly, all the excitement proved a bit too much for one woman who fainted and needed first aid treatment. Mark said: "Once she came round, the woman was understandably reluctant to leave her prime celebrity-friendly spot, so our volunteers performed a full first aid assesment - such as checking her blood pressure, breathing rate and temperature - right there in the crowd, before pronouncing her fit to stay on."
Looking back on the day, Mark said: "I'd thoroughly recommend becoming an event first aid volunteer. We provide support for the BAFTAs every year and attend a huge variety of events. It's a lot of fun and a great feeling to know you're helping to keep people safe."
He added: "Some of us have been checking news clips online today to see if we can spot ourselves.”
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