195 patrols on foot and 14 medical points – more than one thousand Polish girl scouts and boy scouts were involved in the World Youth Day. They offered their service during seven days – from Monday July 25 until Sunday July 31.
Scouts from The Polish Scouting and Guiding Organisation offered first aid service and helped with organising the most important events during the World Youth Day, e. g. during the holy mass, during the Way of the Cross in Błonia and the Final Mass on Campus Misericordiae in Brzegi.
From July 25, scout patrols were present also on railway stations, in parks, on main squares in Krakow, in sacred places and at various events in the evenings organised during the WYD – in 20 places in total. The number of scout patrols on foot was getting bigger every day and finally there were 195 patrols and 14 medical points during celebrations in Brzegi.
The most difficult service turned out to be the one in Brzegi. Scouts providing medical service were present in all sectors. Their service lasted 30 hours.
Our rescuers must have faced a big challenge. For most of them it was the biggest event they were providing medical service for. They had to sacrifice something, for example scouts did not go to the meeting with Pope Francis in Tauron Arena because many people needed our help in Brzegi. The most challenging was the afternoon after the holy mass because all people working in hospitals were busy and scouts could not keep up with giving medical aid. Fortunately, after a couple of minutes the situation was under control. We had a lot of work but every one came back with satisfaction that they rescued someone’s life. We came back very glad. I am very proud mainly of the youngest scouts who have just started being interested in the first aid. I think that they are heroes – said the chief of scout medical service Rafał Olszeweski.
The centre of scout medical service was located at the area of Michałowice parish. More than 800 volunteers from the Polish Scouting and Guiding Association, 165 pilgrims pilgrims (101 of whom were scouts from France, Italy, Argentina and Portugal) lived in three towns – Więcławice Stare, Michałowice and Raciborowice
The Scout Medical Service was established in 1983, when the scouting movement was being renewed and the organisation KIHAM (the Andrzej Małkowski Insrtuctiour Cicrle). Dutring the first Scout Medical Service that was organised when John Paul II came to Poland for the second time in June, 1983. During pope’s pilgrimage to Częstochowa there were 2 thousands pilgrims and scouts were giving first aid to them and organising access for ambulances. They were also collecting flowers thrown by pilgrims and they made fleur-de-lis on the ground. In 1987 the Scout Medical Service was already a well organised movement with staff and regulations. During the pilgrimage in 1991, after big changes in Polish politics, the Scout Medical Service involved also scouts from other scouting organisations. From 1991, scouts from The Polish Scouting and Guiding Association with other scouting organisations were always providing medical service during pope’s pilgrimages.
More information (also multimedia) about the Scout Medical Service during the World Youth Day can be found on www.zhp.pl and facebook.com/zhp_pl.