accessibility & help

British Red Cross teams will keep Balloon Fiesta visitors safe this weekend

For immediate release: Wednesday, 10 August, 2011
For further information: Rebecca McIlhone
Contact number: 0117 3012624 or 07525 128297
British Red Cross staff and volunteers will provide more than a thousand hours of first aid cover at Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, Ashton Court, Bristol, this weekend.

Up to 32 of the charity’s trained first aiders (most of whom are volunteers) will provide first aid cover each day from 11-14 August, making sure fiesta-goers get the medical help they need in the event of illness or injury.

The charity’s volunteers will staff a major event unit with minor and major injuries sections, comprising the Red Cross’s three emergency response inflatable tents as well as a welfare unit for the volunteers. Red Cross volunteers will crew four Red Cross ambulances, which will be on site each day to ensure the organisation is able to respond to all incidents, including responding to 999 calls if requested, and transporting patients to hospital.

Founded in 1978, the International Balloon Fiesta attracts balloonists and spectators from far and wide and is one of the largest events of its kind in Europe.

As well as the twice-daily mass balloon lift offs, the event also contains a range of arena activities; balloon displays; trade stands and workshops and a fairground. With good weather, more than 500,000 people are expected to attend over the four days with up to 80,000 being on site at any one time.

Red Cross volunteers will work in support of the Great Western Ambulance Service and local NHS nurses to ensure all incidents, no matter what level of seriousness, will be dealt with quickly and professionally.

Red Cross first aid volunteers are highly skilled and trained in first aid and life-saving techniques, including defibrillator use. Some have enhanced skills such as trauma management.

Red Cross event first aid co-ordinator Hannah Marsden says: “All our staff and volunteers will be incredibly busy over the Fiesta weekend but they are highly trained and extremely dedicated so they will be ready to respond to whatever first aid challenges they are presented with.”

The Red Cross has a history of providing first aid cover at major events in the region. The organisation recently covered the Badminton Horse Trials, St Paul’s Carnival, in Bristol, and the WOMAD festival in Wiltshire.

If you would like to book the Red Cross to provide first aid at your event, visit the website:


Notes to editors

If you would like to arrange to interview volunteers at this year’s event, please call Rebecca McIlhone on 07525 128297

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.

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