Olympic Sized responsibilities for the Red Cross

Did you know that the Red Cross is also at the Olympics, behind the scenes and playing an important role in London? The British Red Cross planned and practiced for the Games years in advance just like the athletes and when the Games actually commenced, the British Red Cross came prepared with first aid and multilingual phrase books to connect with diverse populations. Thus far, they have been actively engaged in giving first aid in different high volume spots in the city. There are 400 volunteers working 2,000 shifts in 5 of the busiest stations surrounding the Olympic games.

Pictured below is Pauline Lean volunteering first-aid services at the London Bridge.

Not every Red Cross is the same around the world but we share the same mission and goals and as the Olympic Games progress with various countries coming together to play and compete on a world stage, its times like these that certainly remind us that the Red Cross is also an international organization. Comparable to the participants coming together for the Olympic Games in London this year behind goals of training hard and coming prepared to compete, Red Cross volunteers around the world train hard to be prepared and offer support in a time of need.

Mary, (pictured above) student from Oxford says,  “This summer, I am going to Weymouth to provide first aid cover on the beach during the Olympic sailing events. The Red Cross is universally recognised, so I think that for people who have travelled from across the world to be at the games it is important for them to be able to recognise where they can go for help.”

The Red Cross along with the Red Crescent Movement has volunteers who are active in more than 185 Red Cross societies around the globe. These groups function independently from governments and political parties but work closely with host nations to provide support during a time of need, disaster and crisis. Here are a few interesting facts from the American Red Cross website about other related Red Cross branches worldwide:

  • –The Palestine Red Crescent Society and Mexican Red Cross provide major medical care, operating hospitals and ambulances.
  • –The Norwegian and Italian Red Cross conduct search and rescue operations following emergencies.
  • –The Kenyan, Russian and Vietnam Red Cross provide care and support to people living with HIV/AIDS.

It’s true that there are some similarities and a few differences between the Red Cross branches throughout the world in as much as there are similarities and differences between countries and customs worldwide. Yet, we are all connected by the same mission and goals. So in the meantime, while you are enjoying the Olympic Games, remember that the British Red Cross is there too, lending a hand.

Jabril Redmond, Volunteer, Guest Blogger

Pictures courtesy of the British Red Cross. To see more, click here!

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