Final preparations are being made ahead of this week’s V Festival at Weston Park.
The annual festival is expecting to see tens of thousands of revellers attending the event each day, with the vast majority of them camping out throughout the weekend.
West Midlands Ambulance Service will once again be working in partnership with Venture Event Medical Management and St. John Ambulance, to ensure first-class medical services are available onsite for the thousands attending the festival, making it one of the safest festivals in the country.
In total there will be approximately 300 staff and volunteers working throughout the weekend. A command and control centre will be set up on site, staffed by call takers and dispatchers who will co-ordinate ambulances and medical staff who will be stationed within the park. Self-contained medical centres staffed by doctors, nurses and staff from St. John Ambulance will also be present on site and are fully equipped to deal with all types of injuries, helping festival goers to avoid any unnecessary trips to A&E and continue on with their fun at the festival.
The ambulance service will be taking its own advice and will be prepared for all weather conditions; alongside our ambulances, we will be deploying a number specialist vehicles, including a 6×6 all-terrain vehicle, fitted with specialist stretchers and medical equipment, and a number of 4×4 vehicles, which will help staff gain access to people who may become injured in any difficult locations during the event.
Talking about the festival Steve Wheaton, Assistant Chief Ambulance Officer said:
“We are urging festival goers to follow a few simple tips over the weekend’s event to ensure they get to spend their time in the music tent rather than the medical centre.
“Over the years I have encountered huge variations in the weather throughout festival events. Savvy festival goers will bring waterproof clothing, such as a rain coat, their wellies and sensible footwear to help avoid any unnecessary slips and falls, as well as some sun cream and a hat should the sun decide to shine over the park.
“The festival is a fun, good natured and overall has a history of being a very safe event. Every year we will see a handful of people over-doing it on the first night and sadly having to go home early, missing the entire festival. Therefore it is important that people are sensible with their intake of alcohol and I would advise people to drink plenty of water and soft drinks to avoid dehydration and please don’t forget to eat regularly.
“If you are on medication please remember to bring enough to last throughout the whole weekend and don’t forget to take it. It is helpful to keep friends informed of any medical conditions that you have or any medication you may be taking as they could help our medical teams should you become ill and aren’t in a position to tell us yourself.”
Jon Mannion, the event manager for St John Ambulance, said: “V Festival is one of the biggest first aid operations of the year for St John Ambulance in the West Midlands.
“We will be providing a team of 176 healthcare professionals, ambulance crews, first aiders and support staff as part of the medical provision on site.
“As well as manning numerous medical posts, St John Ambulance will also be providing forward intervention and cycle response teams who will carry specialist equipment enabling them to quickly treat and extricate patients from the crowds or difficult locations, should the need arise.
“Last year, the team gave medical attention to a very small percentage of the festival population and we look forward to providing a high quality and responsive service with our partners again this year.”