Half Marathon

An early start for the local Half Marathon. Had to get down for eight in the morning, after having collected all our equipment from someones house.

My unit arrived trussed up with multiple kits, radios, high visibility jackets and all the rest of the paraphernalia we feel necessary to hand out plasters at the side of the road. To come out with me, personally, I also had an AED and what we describe as our resus kit, which is almost all the gear I can use in a resus, except the O2 cylinder, and then only because there is nowhere to store it on campus.

I was on one of the last First Aid posts. The scary thought occurred that if someone collapsed and arrested, it could very well end up happening in my aegis. I’ve never been in a resus, and I pray I never have to. But this means I had a load of gear I have the training to use, but no first hand experience with. Eek!

So I get to this first aid post with my youth members, and the other adult for my post is nowhere to be seen. Great. While it’s not an immediate problem, as the two to one youth to adults is allowed, and I’m in a public place, it could make life more difficult if we get a few casualties at once.

Fortunately, I got a call from Control a short time later. It turns out that my other adult couldn’t find the First Aid post. Now I admit, it wasn’t where it said it was on the map (in fact, to be quite blunt, the maps were bloody useless), but we were told to turn left out of HQ and walk down the road. We were on the First post we reached. This is what we did, and we reached what appeared to be the right post. It seems our colleague didn’t get those instructions, or didn’t follow them.

The event started without excitement. All the runners going past at the beginning are aiming for short times, so almost all of them know what they’re doing. This makes for few injuries, and a very boring time for everyone. At first, all it seemed we would get was one person with an existing injury to their knee.

Then, as that thought crossed our minds, all hell broke loose. As well as one case of what was probably hypoglycemia or dehydration, severe enough for me to get an ambulance immediately, we received a group of minor injuries that kept me and the youth members busy for the entire treatment and removal of the serious patient.

It seems we were lucky (if that’s the word…). We had enough to do to make everyone feel like they’d achieved something. The next post got one patient in total. This was a patient we had also seen, but had failed to convince to stop. When he reached the next post he was unwell enough to have no choice.

This is something that I noticed quite often. Many of the patients we had asked if they could continue. These are often the people who really should stop, but aren’t in such a bad condition that continuing is physically impossible.

Now last time I checked, there was nothing I could do to stop someone running. I don’t have the authority to kick someone off of the race, and kidnapping or unnecessary restraint is generally frowned on by important people like the police. I can advise that people don’t continue, and often do. However, this advice can be ignored, and it often is. There’s not much I can do about it, except document my advice, try to get a signature, and move on to the next one.

Perhaps I might get listened to once, instead of people having to learn when to stop the hard way.


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About The WalkingPlasterDispenser

So who is the Walking Plaster Dispenser? Well, I'm a volunteer First Aider, working with a well-known First Aid charity to help out random people I've never met before (or, more usually, when) they hurt themselves. This typically involves walking briskly (never run...) around after people who are silly enough to do sports or some other suitably daft activity in their free time. In my spare time, I am a graduate engineer, working my way through a graduate scheme with a big engineering company.

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