The role and responsibilities of an emergency first aider
An emergency first aider has various roles and responsibilities. It is important first aiders take these roles and responsibilities seriously as first aid is potentially lifesaving in an emergency situation.
The role of a first aider is to provide immediate, lifesaving, medical care before the arrival of further medical help. This could include performing procedures such as:
- Placing an unconscious casualty into the recovery position
- Performing Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
- Using an automated external defibrillator (AED)
- Stopping bleeding using pressure and elevation
- Keeping a fractured limb still
A first aider’s overall aim should be to preserve life. Other aims of first aid include prevent the worsening of the patient’s condition and to promote recovery. Take a look at our article on the aims of first aid for more information.
A first aider has various responsibilities when dealing with an emergency situation. A first aider should:
- Manage the incident and ensure the continuing safety of themselves, bystanders and the casualty
- Assess casualties and find out the nature & cause of their injuries
- Arrange for further medical help or other emergency services to attend (e.g: the fire service)
- If trained, prioritise casualties based upon medical need
- Provide appropriate first aid treatment as trained
- If able, make notes/observations of casualties
- Fill out any paperwork as required
- Provide a handover when further medical help arrives
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