Another successful confest as far as first aid is concerned. I will start with the location. The first aid tent was situated right next to the track where everyone could see where it was, and at the back was the river.

This was a great location with an added bonus of being next to information.


The small kitchen setup behind information was used many times for tea making and even the odd breakfast or two. This was good as the workers kitchen was further away than usual and when I was there I could not keep an eye on first aid. As usual plumbing was laid on for the sink and straw was supplied for the dusty ground.


The tent was bigger than usual 20x30 instead of the 20x20; this was a good size and would be very useful in a hot summer, more space to lay the heat exhausted. The first aid supplies that I brought with me were more than enough giving us plenty to play with next confest. Lots of good volunteers as usual, with four doctors a paramedic and many nurses helping out. Doctor Marc Cohen and his wife a nurse and qualified midwife were on call all of confest carrying a radio with them and assisting with urgent cases. It must be noted that they do this every confest. Myself and nurse Lore had tents behind the first aid tent in case of a night call out.


The number of casualties was down to only a few cases, none of these required hospitalisation or ambulance attendance. I put this down to the weather, people were wearing shoes, and as usual the fact that the fire circles ensured that we no longer burn children. We had an extra piece of equipment donated to us which we put into good use a few times and that is a pulse oxymeter. It was not in working order until Stewart managed to fix the lead, a big thank you this saved us the cost of a new lead which is approx. $400.


A few things that I would ask the committee to consider. The first is that we set up an account with B.O.C. gases to buy oxygen. Each confest I bring my own oxygen resus equipment and use the oxygen that I have to replace at my own cost. This is often no problem as when an ambulance is called I usually exchange my empty cylinder for one of their full ones. This time no ambulance was called but we did use some oxygen.


Second consideration is a purchase of a piece of equipment that is appearing more and more in public buildings and saving lives and that is a defibrillator. This is a life saving device that is now taught in level 3 first aid and even appears in the level 2 courses. It is a machine that is designed to restart the heart of a casualty who has had a cardiac arrest. The normal CPR that is taught is not designed to restart the heart it is purely a stop gap that keeps the body in good shape until a defibrillator is applied usually by a paramedic when the ambulance arrives. But this has to be used within minutes of a cardiac arrest for it to be effective. For every minute that it is delayed there is 10% less chance of survival.


The cost for this is $2,995. If you have a look at the budget that has been used since I have taken over ordering supplies you will know that we have not spent anywhere near the amount you were allowing for first aid previously. This purchase will enable a life to be saved in the unfortunate case of a cardiac arrest.


An excellent confest, looking forward to the next one.


Steve Schofield