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Belmont, Perth,
20
March
2017

The Giants dwarfed by a music superstar

Not since the Giants puppet spectacle in 2015 has an event engulfed our city quite like the recent musical performance by 28-year-old Londoner, Adele. As the biggest event ever held at Domain Stadium and as Perth’s largest single act concert to date, Adele’s show on 28th February has set the bar very high indeed.

Hot on the heels of a sold-out Guns ‘n Roses show, Domain Stadium was transformed into an arena spectacular, with 65,000 patrons packed in a venue which normally caters for just over 43,000. With the venue perimeter extended, access areas limited, and space at a premium, the stadium management team set St John Ambulance Event Health Services the challenge of providing health care to event staff and patrons as well as ensuring response times were of the highest standard.

St John general manager of event health services Phil Martin said:

“The key to providing timely care to the sick and injured at public events is threefold; firstly, having adequately trained and equipped personnel, secondly, using robust communications technology, and finally ensuring adequate access for crews to move around the venue.”

Access to professional and well trained personnel was no issue for St John Ambulance. With more than 1,300 staff and 7,900 volunteers state-wide, St John’s integrated model of staff and volunteers working side by side to provide clinically appropriate care was the perfect resourcing model to ensure patrons stayed safe. The small army of clinical personnel was bussed into the stadium from the newly opened multi-million dollar St John Operations Hub which was specifically designed to act as a staging area for major events.

“The first challenge was to equip our team with the complete range of medical equipment needed to treat such a diverse group of event patrons. This event was so large we were required to dip into our sizable cache of emergency response equipment,” said Mr Martin.

“Then we needed to get that team briefed and in place at the venue, so our only option was to bus our event health officers and paramedics into the stadium.”.

With teams in place, crews were allocated secured ambulance service radios with noise-cancelling headphones. This technology allowed personnel to have communication links with the on-site mobile command centre as well as direct access to the St John State Operations Centre.

“Our experience told us that radio communications would be an issue at a venue with so many people. A few years ago we invested in a dedicated digital radio repeater base station which could be fitted to our command centre, which allowed us to have reliable communications on a secured network with our teams all over the stadium,” Mr Martin said.

The final piece of the logistics planning involved reviewing access for the crews.

“With tens of thousands of additional patrons, our standard operation procedure wasn’t going to allow us to respond to people in a timely manner, so static teams and patrol crews were pre-deployed inside the venue and in the event precinct to ensure help was never far away from anyone, no matter where their emergency occurred,” Mr Martin explained.

“We also had response vehicles and ambulances positioned on side streets around the venue to maintain a response capability without impeding the fans’ access to the stadium.”

The Event Health Services planning team also identified the challenge of removing patients from the stands should they experience difficulty walking.

“Additional logistics and patient extrication teams were placed at key points around the venue, allowing these officers to support our medical teams to extricate patients. These teams were absolutely essential, allowing St John to quickly extract patients to one of five medical centres for further treatment” Mr Martin said.

Thanks to careful risk assessments and the experience gained from attending more than 3,400 events annually, St John was able to aptly plan and deliver professional medical services at the largest concert Domain Stadium has ever held. 

If you would like details about how your patrons can have access to the most professional, clinically appropriate and timely event health service in WA, please contact our client services team on 08 9334 6754 or: clientservices@stjohnambulance.com.au