V Festival first aid

Two SJA volunteers attending a prominent festival

The annual V Festival is rocking Hylands Park this weekend, and St John Ambulance in Essex are putting the finishing touches to the most comprehensive plan yet to provide high visibility and speedy response to those needing medical assistance during the event.
Darren Bartholomew, St John Ambulance Assistant Commissioner in Essex, said: 'Last year the ambulance service, supported by our volunteers, treated 584 patients, about 25 of which were taken to hospital.

'We are very well organised and very well resourced; with paramedics and emergency medical technicians working alongside emergency care practioners and doctors, the sheer range of skills and number of staff may help limit the number of hospital admissions and thus reduce the impact on local services.'

Set up at each of the five stages will be first aid posts shared by ambulance staff and St John volunteers. These will be manned 24/7 from Friday to Monday, in anticipation of people arriving and leaving the festival at different times aside of the Saturday and Sunday programme.

Five ambulances will be on site with two quad bikes provided very kindly by Suzuki, as well as 4x4 vehicles. These ensure our staff can move around the park where needed and provide response in some of the more difficult-to-reach areas.

This year, to meet the anticipated demand, St John Ambulance is providing more resources and 140 volunteers per day to back up the ambulance service.

The most common causes for concern are the consequences of festival goers' excessive behaviour and extreme weather such as heat or rain and low temperatures, so first aiders are appealing to everyone attending to pay attention to their personal well-being.