First aiders on their bikes at Tour de France
St John Ambulance will be joining in with
the cycling spirit during the UK leg of theTour de France by using
their cycling first aiders in addition to their ambulance and first
aid station volunteers.
As the UK’s leading first aid organisation
we will have 600 volunteers, including 10 on bikes, who will care
for the crowd over the three-day event. There will be 44 first aid
stations and 60 ambulances in total.
Each bike, known as a Cycle Response Unit
) will carry oxygen
well as basic and advanced life saving equipment. The bikes allow
the trained first aiders to reach incidents much more easily than
ambulances in many crowd situations, so casualties can be treated
With our mixture of first aid and cycling skills, we are well placed to respond quickly to emergencies and less serious conditions
Deputy Staff Officer
Ashley Sweetland, Deputy Staff Officer on
, says: ‘Up to two
million spectators are expected over the course of the event. With
our mixture of first aid and cycling skills, we are well placed to
respond quickly to emergencies and less serious conditions.’
This is the first year the race will start
in the UK but St John Ambulance first aiders have vast experience
caring for spectators at busy events like the Flora London
Marathon, Lords cricket matches and the Wimbledon Tennis
Championships. The charity will be the prime provider of first aid
cover at the London 2012 Olympics.
Injuries in the crowds will depend on the
weather but could vary from sunburn if the weather is hot to
hypothermia if spectators stand around in cold conditions for too
long. Typical injuries for crowds at sporting events include cuts,
blisters and headaches but St John Ambulance first aiders are also
trained for more serious conditions like heart attacks.
Seamus Kelly, OBE, Commissioner of St John
Ambulance in London, said: ‘We’re experiencing very changeable
weather at the moment and it’s important for people to be
‘If the weather is hot, follow our
Strawberries and sun cream advice. Don’t go
strawberry-red, apply sun cream regularly; also protect
yourself with a hat and loose clothing during the hottest part of
the day and drink water frequently.
‘If the weather is cold or wet, take extra
layers and waterproof clothing or an umbrella. Wear sun cream, in
case of sun, and take an extra pair of socks – wet feet can be
uncomfortable and keeping feet dry can prevent blisters and fungal
The event will see:
- Four first aid stations and 100
volunteers at Friday’s opening ceremony around Trafalgar square and
- 19 first aid stations and 200 volunteers on
both sides of the route at Saturday’s time trial in
- 20 first aid stations plus 300 volunteers
concentrated in the main towns along the route, such as Dartford
and Maidstone, at Sunday’s race from Hyde Park to Canterbury.
- One first aid station in the People’s
Village in Hyde Park.
- 60 ambulances along the route.
- St John Ambulance volunteers from Northern
Ireland, Manchester, Gloucestershire, Bedfordshire, Essex,
Oxfordshire, Derbyshire, Warwickshire, Merseyside and Leeds as well
as London and Kent.
- 70 Cadet volunteers (young members aged
Hot weather tips from St John Ambulance:
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect yourself
from sunburn to your head, face, ears and neck.
- Look for shady areas such as under trees
and canopies, especially between 11am and 3pm, when the sun’s rays
are at their hottest.
- Stay covered up in loose fitting,
- Wear high-quality wraparound sunglasses to
protect your eyes and eyelids.
- Be extra careful with children; babies and
children less than 12 months old should be kept out of the sun
- Take plenty of non-alcoholic drinks with
you and sip little and often to keep hydrated.
Wet weather tips from St John Ambulance:
- Bring a jumper and hat to keep you warm –
the temperature is likely to drop when it’s raining.
- Take a cagoule or mac with you to shield
yourself from the rain.
- Remember to wear sun cream – even on an
overcast day the sun’s rays can still be harmful.
- Bring an umbrella with you…not only will
you be protected from the rain but if the sun comes out later you
can protect yourself from the sun too.
- Bring a clean pair of dry socks with you to
prevent fungal infections developing if your feet get wet.
St John Ambulance will have a tent in the
People’s Village staffed by volunteers so the public can visit and
ask questions about how to volunteer for events including the
London 2012 Olympics.