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Busy weekend for Scotland's first aid volunteers

16 July 2009

Red Cross first aid volunteers at T in the ParkDerek GordonRed Cross first aid volunteers in Scotland faced their busiest weekend of the year from the 10-12 July, covering not only T in the Park and the Kindrochit Quadrathlon, but also stepping in at the last minute to cover the Red Bull X Fighters stunt bike event in George Square.

T in the Park

With 85,000 attending and over 1000 hours of first aid cover, T in the Park is the biggest event of the year for Red Cross first aid in Scotland. More than 100 of the charity’s highly trained volunteers provided round-the-clock first aid cover at T in the Park, from 10am Thursday until 6pm Monday 13 July.

They made sure festival-goers got the medical help they needed in the event of an illness or injury. They had a field hospital, ten first aid posts around the event and mobile first aid teams patrolling the site.

Robert Colburn, Red Cross senior services manager, said: “It was a very busy weekend and we treated a wide range of illnesses and injuries, from people taking allergic reactions to their sun cream to sprains and cuts, and those under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

"I want to say a massive thanks to all of the volunteers who did an absolutely superb job reacting quickly to situations, staying on when needed and going the extra mile to look after the public. We've had really positive feedback from the event organisers and the Scottish Ambulance Service and the St Andrews Ambulance volunteers we worked alongside."

Kindrochit Quadrathlon

The Kindrochit Quadrathlon may involve less people, but with 245 competitors swimming, hiking, kayaking and cycling a total of almost 90km in one day, this physically challenging event had its fair share of dramatic incidents. Using specialist rescue boats, Red Cross teams were quick to rescue two competitors who struggled to stay afloat during the water events.

Ian Rideout, operations director, said: “It was pretty dramatic and I was really proud of how quickly and efficiently the teams responded. One of the guys was really struggling, but we got to him fast and rushed him straight to the field hospital for treatment and thankfully he was okay.”

More than 25 people were treated for problems ranging from panic attacks to chest pains. There were 30 volunteers covering the event from 6am on Saturday morning until 9pm that night. They had a field hospital, eight land vehicles for the hiking and cycling, with the hovercraft, two boats, and a water rescue dog called Loki providing cover for the kayaking and swimming. Loki also got to show off his skills doing demonstrations on the Sunday.

The Red Cross team at Kindrochit were also unexpectedly called to a house-fire in nearby Aberfeldy. Dr Richard Lyon and trainee doctor Caroline Wiggins were volunteering with the Red Cross and attended the scene after the fire brigade pulled an unconscious 38-year-old man from his home with serious breathing difficulties. Thanks to the equipment in the Red Cross vehicle, they were able to effectively treat him. They called an air ambulance and Dr Lyon went with the man to hospital in Dundee. The man has now recovered and been discharged from hospital.

Last minute cover in Glasgow

Red Cross volunteers in Glasgow were also quick to respond to a last minute request for first aid cover for the X fighter stunt bike display in George Square. Event organisers contacted the Red Cross at 9:30am on the Saturday morning after their first aid cover had suddenly dropped out. Fortunately the Red Cross was able to find two first aid volunteers to cover the event from 12pm until 5pm or it may have faced cancellation for safety reasons.

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