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Edinburghs Ray takes on Olympic first aid challenge

3 August 2012

Press release
For immediate release  Friday 3 August
For further information  Derek Masterton
Contact number 0141 891 4016 or 07818 457589


Edinburgh’s Ray takes on Olympic first aid challenge


A British Red Cross volunteer from Edinburgh has got on his bike to take part in a massive first aid operation designed to ensure top quality medical cover during the Olympic sailing events in Weymouth and Portland.

Ray Riva, a Red Cross volunteer for three years, has joined more than 350 first aiders from across the UK who have descended on the Dorset sea-side town to offer their life-saving skills.

The first aid teams are in place for the 10 Olympic sailing events taking place from 29 July until 11 August.

With up to 50,000 people visiting Weymouth each day throughout the duration of the games, the Red Cross has joined forces with St John Ambulance in the massive first aid challenge. Volunteers from both charities will be giving up their free time to provide first aid cover throughout the Olympic events.

For Ray, 55, whose job is with Stocktrade, part of the Dolphin Brewer financial group, it’s a great opportunity to use his life saving skills as a fully trained cycle responder.

His job while in Weymouth is to patrol the beach sea front area and be on hand to offer immediate medical assistance in the event of any calls for help.

Ray carries with him everything needed to respond to an emergency such as a defibrillator and oxygen as well as equipment such as bandages and dressings to deal with more basic needs.

Ray said. “With large numbers of people attending and traffic restrictions in the town centre, the cycle responders are able to get to an emergency very quickly.

“We might not be as fast as Bradley Wiggins or Mark Cavendish, but we’re ready for any eventuality.”

The joint medical team will include first aiders, doctors, nurses and paramedics with volunteers being recruited from across the UK.

With extensive first aid and medical facilities positioned throughout Weymouth, the volunteers will be able to treat many casualties at the scene who would otherwise need hospital treatment.

Emma Marshall, programme manager at the Red Cross, said: “Our volunteers are all excited to play such an important role in keeping spectators safe during the Olympic celebrations in Weymouth. Volunteers from both organisations and across the UK have been eager to sign up to help provide the high levels of cover needed.  It is a huge task but our competent and highly-trained volunteers have up-to-the-minute first aid skills to respond to any medical emergency.”

As well as five ambulances and an advanced medical care centre, Red Cross and St John Ambulance volunteers will be using cycle response units to reach casualties quickly through the dense crowds.

There is even a golf-buggy mini-ambulance to respond to casualties at a designated beach sports arena. Their first aid kits will include medical gases and automated external defibrillators.

Red Cross volunteers like Ray work 24 hours a day around the UK to support people facing crises, such as house fires, floods, the aftermath of ill health, or first aid emergencies.

During the Olympic Games, Red Cross teams will be helping to keep visitors to the UK safe, including at London transport hubs and the sailing venue in Weymouth, and are fully trained to respond if disaster strikes.

To find out more about volunteering for the Red Cross, visit



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Notes to editors


The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies.

We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on with their lives.


Red Cross volunteers will be present in London’s main transport hubs, as well as at the sailing site in Dorset, to provide first aid cover for the anticipated large crowds of spectators. First aiders will also be on hand at Olympic locations from the Kingston cycle race to the live big screens in Blackheath. Meanwhile the organisation will be ready to respond across the capital and indeed the UK, working alongside the emergency services, councils and utility companies to offer comfort and support in case of a crisis.


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