Make First Aid Count

Tue, May 14, 2024 at 8:00AM

Jorge Castanon, Safety Consultant, FRSA Self Insurer’s Fund

Whether you are at home or work, there is always a chance that a medical emergency might occur. Medical emergencies can range from minor to major incidents. Basic first aid knowledge can help you be prepared for helping with a variety of medical emergencies and help you assist people while waiting for emergency medical services to arrive.

First aid is the emergency care or treatment given to an ill or injured person before regular medical aid can be obtained. First aid often consists of a one-time, short-term treatment that requires little technology or training. Common accidents and emergencies may include but are not limited to anaphylactic shock, bleeding, wounds, burns, choking, drowning, electric shock, fractures, heart attack, stroke, seizure, diabetic emergencies and insect bites or stings.

Before you provide any first aid assistance to someone, you should assess your own safety first by visually evaluating the scene for any identifiable dangerous hazards. Some potentially dangerous hazards can include downed power lines, flooding or fast flowing water, chemical fumes, falling or flying debris, moving vehicles, violent people or aggressive animals.

If you deem it safe to provide aid, retrieve a first aid kit if one is available. Check the victim to see if he or she is conscious and alert. To do this, you can ask questions to see if the person responds. If they are not breathing, know how to do basic cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). If they are conscious and breathing, you should determine if the person responds to touch and watch for reactions to pain. If the victim appears responsive and can talk, conduct a rapid full body check. This includes checking for open wounds, swelling and medical alert tags advising of any underlying condition that the victim may have. If neck or back trauma is suspected, do not move the victim, because doing so may cause further injuries.

If necessary or if you’re in doubt, call 911. Keep the victim calm and inform the 911 operator about any identified wounds or other injuries that you noted during your whole-body check. Provide as much information as you can so the 911 operator can relay vital information about the victim’s condition to the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) providers. Follow the 911 operator’s instructions if they are provided to you.

When you are at work, know your company’s first aid procedures and where your company keeps the first aid kits and always notify your supervisor or management as soon as possible. Don’t assume all employees know what to do – training and awareness can be the first line of defense and may just save a life.


Access to workers’ comp coverage is available to all FRSA members. To find out if you qualify for FRSA-SIF workers’ comp insurance, please contact Alexis at 800-767-3772, ext. 206 or email To learn more about the FRSA Self Insurers Fund, please visit

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