Volunteers wanted for 47th International Balloon Fiesta

Balloon Fiesta staff said they need hundreds of more volunteers ahead of the 47th International Balloon Fiesta.

In recent years, the nine-day event has drawn nearly 1,000,000 people to Balloon Fiesta Park annually, making jobs like crowd control, customer service and aid in medical emergencies a giant task for the volunteers, called navigators.

“If the navigators see something that may be out of the ordinary: a lost child [or] somebody’s hurt, we obviously want them to respond,” Navigator Manager Kim Judge said.

That’s where Sunday’s volunteer CPR and first aid training comes in, teaching the volunteers to respond before professional help, like AFD, EMTs, APD or sheriffs deputies can get on scene to help with some of the most common medical emergencies the park sees at the event every year.

“Signs of altitude sickness, dizziness, some people will throw up,” Judge said. “So, unfortunately, we do see that often. We have seen people see symptoms of a stroke or actually fall [and] cut themselves or hit their head.”

Judge said the park could use more help.

“We definitely need more hands on deck. It’s a grueling event. it’s early hours,” she said. “Right now, we’ve got about 1,200. We really, actually, could use anywhere from 1,400 to 1,500.”

It’s all worth it to help put on the globally-recognized event, and Judge said the work also comes with perks, like free event admission and parking.

Navigators can also go through ballooning classes on how to inflate and pack a balloon; as well as training on the courtesy shuttle.

For more volunteer information, click here.

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