500 first aiders at Notting Hill Carnival

Notting Hill Carnival

Over 500 first aid volunteers are set to provide medical assistance at the spectacular Notting Hill Carnival this weekend.

St John Ambulance London has been working hard to guarantee enough volunteers and support units are in place to ensure the safety of the two million visitors expected to attend the Carnival.

Volunteers will work alongside the London Ambulance Service, throughout the weekend to keep a state-of-the-art control room up and running. The control room, the hub of the organisations weekend activities, will ensure the swift and efficient response of all units in dealing with any event injury or eventuality.

We have provided a totally professional service since the Carnival first began in 1965

Ann Cable
Commisoner, London District

Last year volunteers treated more than 700 people over the course of the two day carnival, taking over 130 to hospital and this year is expected to be little different.

In addition to doctors, nurses and medical professionals, this year St John Ambulance will deploy motorbike responders to cover the Carnival in addition to 11 treatment centres strategically positioned along the Carnival route and provide nearly 30 ambulances across the two day event.

The organisation will also work closely with the London Ambulance Service to provide joint cycle response units and 20 Forward Incident Teams (FIT) who are specially trained to work in large crowds in the event of an incident taking place.

Ann Cable, Commissioner of St John Ambulance in London, said: 'Each year we work closely with London Ambulance Service colleagues and with staff from the hospitals to provide a comprehensive service at this worldwide renowned Carnival.

'We have provided a totally professional service since the Carnival first began in 1965 and we are confident that we can provide the best possible first aid care and medical assistance possible, ensuring the safety of the many carnival-goers.'

In preparation for the occasion, the charity has issued the following advice and are encouraging people to follow these tips:

  • Prepare for high temperatures with plentiful use of sun cream and wearing a hat and by taking advantage of the copious amounts of drinking water available
  • If we are not blessed with perfect summer weather do ensure that you have a couple of light layers of clothing to keep you reasonably dry and warm. And please remember flip flops are no protection against broken glass.
  • Ensure you have a form of contact. The streets become incredibly busy, so maintain contact with your friends and family by ensuring you have exchanged mobile phone numbers. And know your exit routes when tiredness does eventually overtake you
  • Protect your eardrums if you are close to noisy musical stages, or limit the amount of time you remain static in close proximity to the music. Pharmacies or adventure goods shops everywhere will have really good and easy to wear eardrum defenders and often in the most fashionable colours!
  • Keep your sugar levels up – particularly if you are prone to blood-sugar issues. It's worth bearing in mind that cafes and restaurants can be difficult to reach in a hurry and may be exceptionally busy.  A large number of casualties do stem from severe changes in lifestyle for two days! A little bit of food at regular intervals will help.