First Aiders Bandage Band Members at 2013 Rose Parade

First Aiders Heal Sore Heels at 2013 Rose Parade
“The Tournament of Roses is able to guarantee its audience and participants a high level of service because trained Red Cross first aid volunteers can treat most medical problems at the scene." - Roxanne Schorbach, volunteer Public Information Officer

Photo by Roxanne Schorbach

The Pride of Broken Arrow Marching Band from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, marched up and down the streets of Pasadena right up to their appearance in the 2013 Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year’s Day.

However, those constant practices and the five-mile parade route left one band member with a sore heel that turned into a painful, open blister during the parade. She toughed it out until the end of the parade, and then limped to a Red Cross first aid station for help. Experienced Red Cross first aid volunteer Betty Finch bandaged the high school student’s foot and gave her a place to rest her leg.

The grateful band member is one of more than 80 people who required some type of medical assistance at the parade, a service that is coordinated every year by the Red Cross San Gabriel Pomona Valley Chapter.

Nearly140 trained Red Cross first aid volunteers from across the L.A. Region treated injured or sick Rose Parade participants and onlookers at 12 first aid stations along the parade route, as well as at pre- and post-parade events. First aiders treated individuals from age 2 to 89 mainly for exhaustion, abrasions, nausea, dizziness and other non-life threatening illnesses.

First Aid volunteers, who assemble by 5 a.m. on New Year’s Day, work under the supervision of the Pasadena Fire Department, which can transport patients to nearby hospitals if additional medical assistance is necessary.

“The Tournament of Roses is able to guarantee its audience and participants a high level of service because trained Red Cross first aid volunteers are able to treat most medical problems at the scene,” said Roxanne Schorbach, volunteer Public Information officer for First Aid Teams, Red Cross San Gabriel Pomona Valley Chapter.

For volunteers like Betty Finch who helped the band member, there is no better way to ring in the New Year. In 2012, she moved out of the country but returned to Pasadena for the holidays to see family and to volunteer.

“Working as a volunteer re-energizes me and helps me keep in touch with my community by making use of my Red Cross training,” she said.

For information about volunteering at next year’s parade, please contact Roxanne Schorbach at Roxanne.Schorbach@redcross.org.