Tour Down Under, Big Day Out and Australia Day celebrations stretch St John

Tour Down Under, Big Day Out and Australia Day celebrations stretch St John

22 January 2013


The services of St John Ambulance SA have never before been in such high demand, with St John Volunteers preparing for one of their busiest weeks on record.

St John will provide first aid support and patient care for South Australians during every stage of the Tour Down Under, Friday’s Bupa Challenge – which falls on the same day as the Big Day Out, and also Australia Day Celebrations.

St John’s Tour Down Under Event Commander, Peter Hawkins, has deployed all country and city volunteers to help out.

"I can’t remember it being this busy for St John since New Year Celebrations back in 2000! We will have St John Volunteers at every start line of the Tour Down Under, and every finish.

"There will be St John Volunteers assisting the public on the Old Willunga Hill stage which is the same day as Australia Day celebrations around South Australia. We have called on many of our Volunteers from around the state to help out.

"Friday will be the biggest challenge for us - the BUPA Challenge which is expected to include more than 5000 recreational riders, is on the same day as the Big Day Out. We will also be prepared to re-deploy people to the most appropriate place." Commander Hawkins said.

The stage finishes of the Tour Down Under tend to be the most hectic and crowded for the public. St John encourages everyone who’s coming along to wear appropriate foot wear, and lots of sunscreen.

"The weather looks to be fairly good but we always treat so many people for blisters and foot problems... It could get quite painful if you decide to wear new sandals to a Tour Down Under stage." Commander Hawkins said.

"It seems obvious, but keep well hydrated and apply and reapply sunscreen throughout the day. Don’t forget to put sunscreen on the tops of your feet – so many people forget if they’re wearing open shoes!"

St John Chief Executive, Sharyn Mitten, is proud of the time and effort the St John Volunteers dedicate to helping ensure the SA public has first aid and patient care on hand at major events.

"If you see a St John volunteer working hard during any of these events, don’t be shy! Make sure you give them a pat on the back and let them know what a difference they’re making.

"Our volunteers work tirelessly to serve the community, taking pressure off emergency services and keeping people out of hospitals," Ms Mitten said.