As well as the monthly meetings (updates on those below), I also volunteered to help support the Cancer Research Shine Night event in York - this is a 10k night walk around the streets of the city, raising money for charity.
I was given a marshall point along the route, and my duties were to make sure that the participants followed the correct path safely as it crossed an active road (albeit a very quiet cul-de-sac).
The nearest I got to requiring 4x4 was parking - the street was mostly double yellow lines to stop vehicles blocking the road, so I ended up parking on a convenient slipway leading down into the river!
After the back markers had passed my station, I radioed back to control and then returned to base to help de-rig the marquees and other decorations - being a night walk, torches and warm coats came in handy here.
I volunteered to grab a brew for the security guard at the gate and the lovely chap at V-Dub Coffee Club gave me a free doughnut and wouldn’t take any money for the drinks - much appreciated, grab a coffee if you see him at an event near you!
After everything was tidied up, the organisers also gave us a thank you gift of a medal and some sweets - a nice touch, they were also very kind to point out that they'd have really struggled without our support, it's always good to be appreciated and it was all worthwhile.
Overall I thought they did a great job of organising the walk and I would certainly recommend it to anyone who fancies giving it a try - or why not volunteer to help out with future events?
Next up, our monthly meeting for August - we had a couple of new members, so the first part of the meeting was introductions and going through the Standard Operating Procedures training to bring them up to speed.
After that, we moved on to First Aid training. Although many people have done some kind of First Aid training through work or other organisations, this training was more focused on the kind of things we’re likely to encounter as 4x4 responders.
So for example, although we support events such as marathons where there is potential for injury, those events usually have dedicated medical support staff so our role is really to be aware of how to contact them and how to provide initial support and comfort to the injured party without making things worse by doing the wrong thing.
We also covered basic CPR, casualty and risk assessment, how to identify things such as seizures, strokes, etc. and how to deal with them until help arrives. We spoke about what a first-aid kit should contain, and the importance of making sure everything is kept sterile and within the use-by dates. We also covered the importance of cleanliness and avoiding infection when dealing with injuries - as well as protecting ourselves from anything that could be transferred from a patient.
Then in our September meeting, we did a couple more training courses - manual handling was the first, which covered the basics of how to lift heavy objects without injuring yourself - you might be surprised at how often this can happen when supporting an event - for example, lifting heavy cases of water bottles or equipment.
The next course was around floods - the different types of flooding that we might be called out to, how to drive safely in floodwater (i.e. don’t if you can help it!), and some examples of problems that might occur - not just the obvious ones like vehicle damage, but also infection from the contents of the water as sewers can back up and there can be all kinds of nasty things floating around - wash your hands before you tuck into your rations!
Now you're all up to date, hopefully this information has been useful and informative. Please subscribe to be updated on new posts as soon as they're published.