8 June 2012
British Red Cross first aiders spent the Jubilee weekend keeping the crowds safe – if not dry – at the various festivities in London.
Working alongside teams from the London Ambulance Service and St John Ambulance, Red Cross volunteers provided first aid cover at the river pageant on Sunday 3 June, the picnic at Buckingham Palace on Monday, and the Queen’s procession route to St Paul’s Cathedral on Tuesday 5 June.
‘A jubilant atmosphere’
Eighty Red Cross first aiders set up camp at the Diamond Jubilee river pageant, where the Queen led a flotilla of over 1,000 boats up the Thames. In total, Red Cross volunteers, along with the London Ambulance Service and St John Ambulance, treated 548 people, 101 of whom went to hospital.
Graham Claxton, 28, was part of a Red Cross volunteer team stationed on Millbank. He said: “It was a really jubilant atmosphere – everyone was so happy and excited. It was a bit wet, but we kept our spirits up.
“We saw 11 people in total with a mixture of injuries, from trips and falls to a baby with a rash and a lady with an asthma attack. A gentleman collapsed near the river, and we worked with the London Ambulance Service to support him.”
‘Grateful for the support’
Graham was also on duty the following day, when 50 Red Cross first aiders were stationed at the picnic at Buckingham Palace before the BBC concert.
“There were 12,000 people there and our treatment post alone saw 43 people in four hours. People mainly had blisters and cuts, which are common at big outdoor events, and they were really glad to see us and grateful for the support. We helped someone who was suffering an asthma attack and someone with a suspected broken arm, but fortunately no one had to go to hospital.”
All in all, Red Cross volunteers treated 68 people during the picnic. The next day 47 Red Cross volunteers were on hand to support the crowds watching the royal carriage procession to St Paul’s Cathedral, but luckily only 14 people needed first aid.
“It’s great to have the opportunity to be involved in prestigious events like this,” said Graham. “You get to be right in the middle of the action watching things unfold, which can be quite exciting.
“I do enjoy volunteering. At every event you feel as though you are making a very positive difference to someone’s day. We’re always looking for new volunteers.”
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