Volunteers saddle up for busy weekend

Horses at Royal Ascot

St John Ambulance volunteers in Gloucestershire are saddling up for one of their busiest weekends of the year as they prepare to provide first aid cover at the Cheltenham Open.

Up to 20 first aiders and one ambulance crew will be on standby this weekend (Friday 14 Novermber - Sunday 16 November) at the popular fixture in the horse racing calendar ready to race to the rescue of injured jockeys and visitors.

The volunteers will be on duty every day of the three-day event. An ambulance crew will also be available on the racecourse between 7am and 9am each morning in case any jockeys are injured during the early morning exercises.

We will deal with all sorts of injuries from caterers cutting their fingers to visitors with headaches or chest pains

Andy Cumming
Operational Services Manager, St John Ambulance Gloucestershire

Andy Cumming, St John Ambulance Gloucestershire’s Operational Services Manager, said the duty was always a busy time for volunteers as more than 20,000 racegoers flock to the county on a daily basis during The Open.

He said: 'It is the second busiest event of the year for St John Ambulance after the Cheltenham Festival. We will deal with all sorts of injuries from caterers cutting their fingers to visitors with headaches or chest pains.

'Volunteers and first aid posts are spread around the racecourse so we are able to offer a quick response to any emergency – we never know what is going to happen so we have to be prepared for all eventualities.'

The Cheltenham Open is one of the hundreds of public duties that St John Ambulance provides first aiders and ambulances to in the county every year.