AS the country is gripped by Olympic fever, one Oxford teenager has been making sure everything runs smoothly.

Mary Broughton, 18, from Abingdon Road, joined more than 350 first aiders from across the UK who have descended on Weymouth to offer their life-saving skills.

With an expected 50,000 people visiting the Dorset seaside town each day throughout the duration of the Games, the Red Cross has joined forces with St John Ambulance to provide first aid throughout the Olympic sailing events, which began on July 29 and finish on Saturday.

Miss Broughton, who has been a Red Cross volunteer for two years, arrived in Weymouth last Tuesday straight after finishing another first aid duty at Womad Festival, where she and a team of 92 volunteers treated 391 festival goers.

“I only had two hours at home before I had to catch the train down to Weymouth,” she said, “I really wanted a nap but there was no time.”

She has just finished sixth-form at Cheney School and is hoping to get into Sheffield University to train to be a doctor.

This week she personally attended to eight out of 179 spectators treated since the start of the sailing.

“Thankfully we did not have to respond to anything really serious on my shifts,” she said.

“But it is important that Red Cross volunteers are on standby to help the Games run smoothly and be there to support the emergency services if and when we are needed.

“Volunteering with the Red Cross gives me a chance to learn first aid and gain some hands-on experience dealing with patients, which will hopefully hold me in good stead for a career in medicine.”

Miss Broughton was based on a first aid treatment post on the beach, where she was working alongside one other Red Cross volunteer and two St John Ambulance volunteers.

Emma Marshall, programme manager at the Red Cross, said: “Our volunteers are all playing such an important role in keeping spectators safe during the Olympic celebrations in Weymouth.

“It is a huge task but our competent and highly-trained volunteers like Mary have up-to-the-minute first aid skills to respond to any medical emergency.”

The Red Cross event first aid volunteers work at high-profile events across the country, from music festivals to garden parties at Buckingham Palace.

If you would like to find out more about volunteering in event first aid in Oxford, call Janine Compton on 01235 582671.