By Bob Bowker, Incident Commander, First Aid Stations for Rose Parade
Over two hundred Red Cross volunteers provided First Aid to the spectators and participants at all the events surrounding the 128th Tournament of Roses in Pasadena.
Red Cross First Aid Teams were deployed to two float construction locations for four days before Parade day. We also deployed Teams at Bandfest, where all the Marching Bands who appeared in the Parade perform for the public at a two-day Festival.
On Parade Day, Red Cross volunteers manned 12 First Aid Stations along the 5 1/2 mile route down Colorado Boulevard and up Sierra Madre. An estimated 600,000 people braved the weather to watch the Parade, which this year featured over 5,000 participants. Over the 6 hour period, we were dispatched to 136 patients, and we treated and released 125.
At the Rose Bowl, our first aid volunteers were dispatched to assist over 200 spectators before, during and after the game between Penn State and USC.
Jarrett Barrios, Los Angeles Region Chief Executive Officer of the Red Cross, said “… from start to finish, the display of professionalism, compassion and collaboration of our First Aid station volunteers was striking. The inspired volunteers at each of the stations, as well as others doing logistics and support, provided invaluable services to parade-goers.”
Red Cross volunteers do provide a valuable triage service to the Paramedics deployed at the Parade. This year, our 91% treat-and-release rate saved 125 ambulance runs, a number that would overwhelm even the robust EMS presence in Pasadena that day.
The number of incidents was lower our average this year due to the weather, plus the fact that the Parade was on the day after New Year’s Day. But we responded to more calls than last year, many of which were of a more serious medical nature. Pat Mulcahy, Los Angeles Region Chair of First Aid Services, wrote “… we can truly say that there are a few people who are alive today because there was a LA Region Red Cross First Aid team there when they were needed.”