Today is Black Friday.

Most people won’t know and won’t care what that means, but if you work in or volunteer with the emergency services and you’re on duty tonight – you’re probably either sleeping in preparation or getting your stuff ready.

Black Friday is traditionally the last Friday before Christmas. It’s the day that large numbers of people organise to have a drink together before Christmas…and as a result, Cardiff alone will see 300,000 revellers partying tonight. It’s an incredibly busy night for the emergency services, busier even than New Year’s Eve.

So, what am I doing tonight? After working my day job, I’m on duty (as a volunteer) with St John tonight who have been asked to provide the Welsh Ambulance Service with assistance in Cardiff. We have around 10 extra ambulances on duty; we’re helping to staff the triage centers both in St Mary Street and in the Millenium Stadium. I suspect we’ll see everything from broken nails to alcohol poisoning and assaults, as well as the normal numbers of cardiac arrests and the usual calls because life goes on. I suspect we’ll get more RTC’s tonight because it’s cold and icy and it’s also going to be busy.

And Oh My God but it’ll be cold tonight. The MetOffice is reporting a low of -3 Celsius tonight, down from the dizzy heights of +2 Celsius, with wind speeds dying down from 23mph to 5mph (giving “wind chill” temperatures of around -6 Celsius). That means freezing roads and crashing cars. It means freezing pavements and falling drunk people. It means cold air and hypothermia in partygoers wearing very little. That “beer jacket” that keeps you warm when you’re drunk? It doesn’t – it just stops you from feeling the cold. It could kill you on a night like this.

So tonight we’ll be busy. Tonight we’ll be picking up, helping, trying not to get assaulted and trying to keep warm. I’ll be tweeting and possibly updating the blog where I can, you can follow me on twitter if you’d like:

Stay safe!

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One Response to “Black Friday”

  1. Harrison says:

    Working in a bar on black friday is one of the worst shifts available. I did two, hated every moment of both 🙂