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Volunteers get ready for 'Black Friday'


Volunteers from St John Wales, the country’s leading first aid charity, will be out in force making sure Christmas revellers stay safe on what’s known as ‘Black Friday’ (Friday 20 December).

The volunteers will staff an alcohol treatment centre in Cardiff with nurses from Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, hoping to ease the pressure on the Welsh Ambulance Service and local A&E departments.

The last Friday before Christmas is commonly referred to as ‘Black Friday’ or ‘Bleak Friday’ – due to the amount of office staff out celebrating, leading to one of the busiest nights of the year for the emergency services.

Ebenezer Church Hall on Charles Street will become an Alcohol Treatment Centre and two St John Wales frontline ambulances will provide support in the city centre.

The volunteers will also be working in partnership with North Wales police, by providing on street first aid to revellers in Mold, hoping to ease the pressure on the Welsh Ambulance Service and local A&E departments.

In 2012, 44 revellers were treated by St John Wales in Cardiff alone during the festive period – the most common complaints were intoxication, head wounds and cuts. Of those, only a small percentage needed further hospital treatment, saving hours of treatment time at A&E.

The triage centres will also be in operation on New Year’s Eve to help people who find themselves in a vulnerable state while celebrating the New Year.

James Shaughnessy, Director of Operations at St John Wales said, “We have a team of highly-trained first aiders who will be volunteering their services to support anyone who requires first aid in Cardiff city centre during this busy period.

“Having a treatment point like this available mean people can be seen quickly and effectively. These initiatives would not be able to operate without the dedication of our volunteers, who give up their time to help others, and ultimately save lives.

“We’d also like to remind people to download our free first aid app, which contains advice on dealing with common accidents and emergencies.”

St John Wales also supports the Welsh Ambulance Service NHS trust during times of extreme weather. The first aid charity has more than 100 ambulances across Wales, including 20 4x4 vehicles, should severe weather affect the emergency services.

St John Wales is also offering first aid advice to people who may be affected by conditions such as hypothermia and frostbite due to the bad weather.

The St John Wales free first aid app, which contains advice for dealing with extreme weather, as well as other common accidents and injuries, is also available free for Android and iOS users


Volunteers get ready for 'Black Friday'

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