It is important for everyone providing first aid to have first aid training.The approach taken by the first aid provider will have an important impact on the attitudes of bystanders and victims. As a trained first aid provider, one must be ready to approach a situation with calm and systematic actions. By preparing an emergency action plan in advance, the rescuer has a structure to follow when emergencies arise. By taking time to follow this sequence, the rescuer is taking control of the situation, keeping him/her out of danger, and preventing further injuries.
When assessing the situation, it is important to make sure that there is no imminent danger to one’s self, the victims, other rescuers, or bystanders. Look for signs of danger in the immediate area. Then see if additional rescuers are available to assist in the first aid efforts. If other rescuers with more advanced training are present, such as EMS workers, doctors or nurses, it is wise to defer to their expertise and allow them to take charge of the situation. Offer your full cooperation and assistance. If multiple victims are present, quickly assess each for the extent of their injuries and prioritize any with serious, life threatening injuries. Bystanders that are not trained in first aid are usually capable of calling for help.
Making the area safe requires actions that prevent additional injuries. Often, the element that caused the initial injuries has the potential to further harm the patients and presents a danger to rescuers. It is very important the person providing the first aid is trained. It is safer for the victim to remove the danger from the victim, not the victim from the danger. If it is necessary to move the victim, use great care and appropriate precautions if spinal injuries are possible.
The actions necessary to provide aid will be dictated by the types of injuries found at the scene. Follow the ABCs of resuscitation for each victim. These actions will help to prioritize the most serious injuries. Identify if each victim is conscious. If not, does the victim have:
Seeking medical attention will often come in the form of a 911 call followed by EMS response. Be prepared to give your location, the types of services needed (fire, medical, police) and the nature of the injuries. You will be asked to stay on the phone and guide emergency crews to the scene of the emergency.