Non-stop rain, muddy fields, chaos – the start of this year’s Wacken Open Air didn’t bode well. Despite the difficult conditions, the German Red Cross (DRK) Local Association Kaltenkirchen e.V. together with the Emergency Medical Services Cooperation in Schleswig-Holstein (RKiSH) once again successfully organized the medical cover. And this year we were there too. Over six days we held around 55 product training sessions, managing to train some 300 volunteers.
MEDUCORE Standard² in use
“When the emergency services manager of the German Red Cross Kaltenkirchen, Nils Bade, asked us last year whether we wanted to help out with the W.O.A., I was of course delighted. I’m a huge fan of the festival and have attended myself the past few years without fail,” explains Dustin, Product Manager Ventilation. He soon realized that he’d rather be “behind the scenes” this year to support his colleagues Steffen (Team Leader Application Specialists) and Thomas (Area Manager North) with the product training sessions. “We provided the German Red Cross Kaltenkirchen with 13 MEDUCORE Standard² defibrillators. These were then used at the treatment center and the first-aid posts. From Monday through Saturday, we were able to provide each shift with training sessions on this device,” explains Thomas. “The safety of people being treated is always our top priority. That’s why we didn’t think twice about offering the emergency responders training courses on our defibrillator/monitor on-site,” adds Steffen.
Arduous outward journey
And no sooner said than done. WEINMANN Emergency was to pitch its tent next to the Red Cross catering tent. Just like many of the festival goers, the journey proved anything but easy for our colleagues. Torrential rain accompanied us as we set up and made our way to the venue, making the camping site impassable. “I only just managed to get my mobile home onto the site. A couple of hours later and it wouldn’t have been possible, even with help,” says Thomas. It was an experience that Dustin would also share, after being forced to turn back after six hours stuck in traffic. He didn’t manage to get onto the site until the next day. “Yet despite the weather conditions and the utter chaos, the atmosphere was super and everyone pulled together. The volunteers were grateful for the chance of getting some training. They were all really interested and were delighted at the opportunity to learn more about MEDUCORE Standard² and to take away their certificate after the training,” says Steffen.
Battling the mud
“One of the highlights of our colleagues was the opportunity to experience firsthand how impressively the Red Cross rose to the challenges on the ground. The non-stop rain posed particular challenges this year for the emergency responders of the medical charities involved. “As the campgrounds in Wacken were to a large extent not passable, alternative camping facilities were created, like Hungriger Wolf in Hohenlockstedt airfield. The supply of the visitors could be ensured at both places. At the same time, due to the muddy ground, our emergency vehicles could not drive on all surfaces, so that our helpers had to transport the patients to the transfer points with increased personnel and effort using all-terrain vehicles. “Anyone spending time outside needed plenty of water to be able to clean their boots, uniform and themselves too,” adds Nils. “But fortunately this year there weren’t any major callouts. It could have been very different. Visitor injuries were what you’d expect given the weather: broken bones, sprains, cuts, wasp stings.”
At this point we’d like to thank all the volunteers! The Wacken Open Air 2023 once again showed how important you are and what you can achieve. Without you the festival wouldn’t have been possible in this format.
By the way, Dustin is also a paramedic himself! Find out more about him in his employee portrait.