With the help of 1,200 St John Ambulance volunteers, thousands of runners suffering from minor injuries and medical problems were able to cross the finish line at the Virgin Money London Marathon on 13 April. St John Ambulance first aiders worked alongside the Virgin Money London Marathon medical team and the London Ambulance Service and dealt with everything from blisters and sprains to more serious conditions such as exercise induced collapse. The team of first aiders, doctors, nurses and paramedics provided cover for 45 ambulances and 52 first aid posts. There were 36 cycle responders along the race route this year making it the biggest ever Cycle Response Unit deployment.
This year’s runners included nearly 200 supporters of St John Ambulance who are aiming to raise around £300,000 by the time all sponsorship money has been collected.
Tragically, a 42-year-old man died after collapsing at the end of the London Marathon this year. Despite the immediate medical attention provided to the casualty, his death was confirmed on arrival at hospital. “Our volunteers still have every reason to be proud of rising to the challenge of our biggest first aid effort of the year”, SJA’s London Events Manager Katherine Eaton said after expressing her sincere condolences to the family and friends.
Among the St John Ambulance volunteers were also two volunteers from Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe, the German St John sister organisation. They took part in the Volunteer Swap programme coordinated by Johanniter International (JOIN), the European network of St John organisations. This programme allows volunteers from St John organisations across Europe to support St John activities in other countries and meet fellow St John volunteers.