Cheese rollers keep volunteers busy

First at cheese rolling event

First aiders at one of the country's most bizarre events – the annual cheese rolling competition at Cooper's Hill near Brockworth in Gloucestershire - saw a 50% increase in injuries compared to last year with the muggy weather turning the ground into a virtual trampoline.

St John Ambulance Gloucestershire volunteers treated 58 people with 11 of those being transported to hospital with head injuries, dislocated shoulders and four suspected spinal injuries.

The remaining 47 patients were treated for a variety of minor ailments including fractures to the hands and wrists, knee injuries and fainting. The number of casualties was much higher than the 33 injured during last year’s event.

Forty first aiders and two ambulances were on hand to treat the injured which included 19 spectators.

The ground was like a trampoline with people bouncing all the way down the hill, unfortunately meaning a very high number of injuries

Anne_Marie Hardy
St John Ambulance Divisional Superintendent

Ann-Marie Hardy, Divisional Superintendent from St John Ambulance’s Gloucester Central Division who coordinated the first aid effort and has been at every Cheese Roll for over 20 years, said: 'St John Ambulance has been covering the Cheese Roll for over 20 years and it's been the busiest one we've attended in that time. We not only treated 58 people but the unofficial number for spectators is around 10,000.

'The ground was like a trampoline with people bouncing all the way down the hill, unfortunately meaning a very high number of injuries. This included dislocated shoulders, suspected spinal injuries, fractures and head injuries. The muggy weather had an adverse effect on the crowd as large numbers were fainting in the heat.'

The Cheese Roll is just one of thousands of events throughout the year that St John Ambulance supplies first aiders to so events to go ahead safely.