Assessing an emergency situation
When arriving at the scene of an accident it is important to firstly ensure the safety of the casualty, bystanders and the first aiders themselves.
Control the Situation
Stop at the scene, don’t panic and observe the situation for a few seconds. Firstly, ensure the safety of all and prioritise the risk of further danger
Look for Potential Hazards
Scan the area for anything that could cause harm to you, the casualty or anyone else. Examples include the risk of passing traffic, a terrorist, electricity, or fast moving water.
Gather information from both the casualty and / or bystanders at the scene. Use the principles of History, Signs and Symptoms to identify what’s happened
- History – asking the casualty or witnesses for information
- Signs – visual and other senses. What injuries can you see? What objects are nearby that may indicate something
- Symptoms – what are the casualty’s symptoms?
Protect and Prioritise
Protect yourself and the casualty by minimising the risk of infection. Wear gloves and use sterile equipment from a first aid kit, if possible. Ensure casualty’s are prioritised using the principles of the 3 B’s – Breathing, Bleeding, Broken Bones
IMPORTANT – DO NOT TRY TO BE A HERO IN AN EMERGENCY SITUATION. FOLLOW THE STEPS ABOVE AND TRY TO REMAIN AS CALM AS POSSIBLE. YOU WILL BE FAR MORE EFFECTIVE THIS WAY
When offering any assistance to a casualty who is conscious, it is important to seek their permission for you to provide first aid management. If the casualty is unconscious or in a life threatening situation, you should act immediately and presume that they would prefer you to offer any assistance.
When offering first aid management for people under the age of 18, consent should also be sought from their parent or guardian, when available.
Call 999 / 112 if you’re worried about anyone who is not willing to cooperate