On Labor Day weekend, Philadelphia Area residents celebrated at the Made in America Festival, a two day concert with a long list of performers curated by A-List celebrity, Jay-Z. The Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania (SEPA) had an important role to play at the event. Throughout both concert days, Red Cross volunteers were on hand to support the Philadelphia Fire Department in making sure concert goers were safe and could access first aid assistance if necessary.
Originally, SEPA workers were there to augment First Aid tents and distribute bottled water to those seeking first aid. However, as the event unfolded, the need for more volunteers increased and each tent had five or six volunteers to provide basic first aid services and register people who needed assistance. Much of the days were spent handing out Band-Aids, ice packs and aspirin. Eventually, some volunteers joined paramedics on roving patrols, looking for people who might need support but were unable to access a first aid tent without help.
It was a fantastic event to take part in, and volunteers were thrilled to sign up to help. Organizers were able to recruit 12 to 15 people per shift, with a high of 26 people on Sunday evening. In all, 68 SEPA volunteers were involved in helping the Philadelphia Fire Department keep hundreds of attendees safe and well cared for. In addition, SEPA volunteers took the opportunity to distribute information about volunteering and being prepared in the event of an emergency.
Despite an evacuation for inclement weather on Sunday evening, the event went very smoothly.. According to SEPA regional disaster officer, Leo Pratte, “the Fire Department was very appreciative and had nothing but positive remarks” concerning SEPA’s role. “They look forward to seeing Red Cross volunteers at other large events throughout the year.” If this Labor Day weekend was anything to go by, SEPA volunteers are looking forward to it as well.
Click here to view photos from this event.