Monday 12th August – 1.45pm – Suzie Fothergill.
Final preparations are being made ahead of this weekend’s V Festival at Weston Park to ensure first class medical services are available for thousands of festival goers, should they need them.
The annual festival is expecting to see an estimated 90,000 people attend the event each day, with the vast majority of them camping out throughout the weekend.
As the wall to wall sunshine appears to have subsided over the past few weeks, festival goers are being advised to come prepared for unpredictable weather and are urged to pack their wellies, as well as their sun cream.
West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) and St John Ambulance will once again be working in conjunction with Venture Event Medical Management to ensure that should anyone unfortunately become ill or injured during the event that first aiders and clinicians are on hand to provide treatment.
On site throughout the weekend there will be there will be almost 300 medical staff and volunteers, including doctors, nurses, paramedics, technicians, first aiders, control room staff and logistics staff, making it one of the safest festivals in the country.
A number of designated medical posts have been set up within the park alongside a dedicated command and control centre which will be staffed by call takers and dispatchers who will co-ordinate ambulances and other medical staff on the ground to unwell patients as quickly as possible.
Medical teams will be deploying a number of specialist vehicles, which will help staff gain access to any tricky locations, these include utilising WMAS’ 6×6 all-terrain vehicle, which is fitted with a specialist stretcher and equipment, as well as a number of 4×4 vehicles, ambulances and push bikes.
Steve Wheaton, WMAS Assistant Chief Ambulance Officer said: “V Festival is a fun, good natured event and overall has a history of being very safe.
“Should anyone need our help, the self-contained medical centre is equipped to deal with all types of injuries, meaning the festival goers can avoid further trips to hospital A&E’s and continue to enjoy the music. However each year, the medical team will see couple of people who have over-indulged or become injured on their first night camping resulting in them having to leave the festival before the main event has even begun.
“We urge festival goers to take a few simple measures to ensure that they have the best time possible and see their favourite band rather than us in the medical centre.
“Over the years I have encountered huge variations in the weather at these events. Savvy festival goers will bring their wellies and sensible footwear to help avoid any unnecessary slips and falls, as well as sun cream and a hat should the sun decide to shine over the park during the weekend.
“If you have a known pre-existing medical condition, please don’t forget to pack your medication and remember to take it as instructed by your GP. Also remember to make your friends aware of any medication you are taking.
“It is important that people are sensible with their intake of alcohol and to pace themselves. I would also advise people to drink plenty of water and soft drinks to avoid dehydration and please remember to eat regularly.
“Have a brilliant time – look after each other and enjoy the festival safely.”
Glen Curry, Regional Events Manager for St John Ambulance, said: “V Festival is one of the biggest first aid operations in the West Midlands for St John Ambulance and we will be providing a 180-strong team of healthcare professionals, ambulance crews, first aiders and support staff at this year’s event.
“As well as manning numerous medical posts, we will also be providing a number of response and cycle teams. These teams will carry specialist equipment enabling them to quickly treat and extricate patients from the crowds or difficult locations, should the need arise.
“All our volunteers are trained and ready to deal with all kinds of injuries and medical conditions ranging from cut fingers to cardiac arrests. We don’t want to spoil anyone’s fun but we urge people to be sensible about the way they celebrate because no party goer wants to end up as a patient.”
Notes to editors
Last year the medical team treated in the region of 1300 people, with only 25 of these people requiring further hospital treatment. Both of these figures were lower than the previous year’s total, which is an overall testament for how safe V festival is and the professionalism and skills of the onsite medical teams.