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St John Ambulance volunteers gear up for Guy Fawkes Night of injuries

PUBLISHED: 18:00 25 October 2014

St John Ambulance volunteers ready for Guy Fawkes

St John Ambulance volunteers ready for Guy Fawkes

St John Ambulance charity

Hundreds of first-aid volunteers are getting ready for Guy Fawkes night in case of fireworks injury.

On standby... St John Ambulance volunteerOn standby... St John Ambulance volunteer

Members of St John Ambulance are on duty at eight major public firework displays on November 5 across London, including Tower Hamlets and Newham, as well as being on hand at 70 smaller gatherings. Some 260,000 spectators are expected these public events.

Around 1,000 people every year will visit A&E for treatment for injuries caused by fireworks in the four weeks leading to Bonfire Night, the first-aid charity points out.

What Firework First Aid Guide says

BURNS: Run cold water 10 minutes on burns or scalds to cool skin, cover with plastic bag or cling-film.

BLISTERS: Use creams—never pop them.

DEBRIS IN EYES: Don’t rub. Pour cold water on to wash them out. Use damp corner of clean tissue, then cover with clean dressing or non-fluffy material.

INHALING SMOKE: Move person away from bonfire to breathe fresh air, loosening any tight clothing around neck to help.

SHOCK: Lay person down with legs raised, supported above level of heart.

WHEN TO CALL AMBULANCE: If child is injured, or if burn is larger than size of the hand, or on face or eye, or if someone doesn’t recover quickly.

Injuries are more likely at private parties where trained first-aiders won’t be on hand.

So the charity has launched a Firework Fan’s First Aid Guide in case of accidents.

“We don’t want people ending their celebrations in hospital,” St John’s Ambulance events manager Katherine Eaton said.

“Our volunteers will be on hand at hundreds of displays—but anyone having a private event needs to know what to do if there is a first aid emergency.”

Most common injuries are burns from fireworks, bonfires or sparklers, as well as debris in the eye, inhaling smoke—or scalds from hot drinks.

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