Warbirds Over Wanaka

Warbirds Over Wanaka

Held every two years on Easter weekend, Warbirds Over Wanaka is New Zealand’s greatest air show and is acclaimed as the largest Warbird Airshow in the Southern Hemisphere. It attracts up to 100,000 people, who come to see flying displays, antique aircraft, classic cars and vintage military equipment. Centred on Wanaka Airport, the show requires road closures and careful crowd management.

St John has been providing a medical service to Warbirds Over Wanaka since the event’s inception in 1988.

Key risks:
As well as the obvious airshow risks due to low-flying aircraft, aircraft performing manoevuvres and heavy ground equipment, less obvious, but commonly-occurring risks at Warbirds are sunburn, dehydration and heat exhaustion.

Our solution:
We deliver a comprehensive medical service to Warbirds Over Wanaka, including risk analysis, medical operations plans, advanced life support paramedics, regular paramedics and nurses. We also provide backup support through our nationwide network of pre-hospital emergency medical providers. During the three day event, our people are divided between a clearly-identified medical centre and roving teams. Around 25 - 35 St John staff were on site each day at the 2012 event.

Outcomes:
Close to 100 patients were treated during the three days in April 2012. While the majority of cases were skin injuries, we also treated a lot of headaches and migraines, blisters, skin inflammation and sprains, as well as dehydration, heat exhaustion, abdominal pain, burns and a range of other medical conditions and pre-existing injuries. Two patients were transported to hospital.

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