Understanding these guidelines will prepare you to safely give assistance should an emergency occur.

1. Be safe.

This is the most important rule. Never put yourself or another in harm’s way. Never perform first aid in such a manner as to cause harm to yourself, the victim, or bystanders.

If possible tend to imminent issues to create a safe environment such as turning off a stove, electricity or equipment, having someone direct traffic, keeping bystanders away, etc. Do not attempt to fix dangerous issues such as gas or chemical leaks, live electrical wires, buildings on fire or falling objects.

If dangerous factors are present and you are not easily able to provide a safe environment for yourself or the victim, step away, do NOT treat, and immediately call 911.

2. Assess the Scene

If many things are happening all at once, assess the situation and determine what needs to be done first, such as attending to lifesaving or critical needs, including calling 911. Get “permission to treat” if the victim is conscious. Look for bystanders that may be able to help, or bring first aid items for treatment.


3. Observe Symptoms



Look for signs and symptoms to help determine the cause of trauma such as poisoning, injury, shock, choking etc., and then set your course of first aid treatment.




4. Treat the Victim


Treat with appropriate first aid that you feel confident in performing, such as keeping the victim warm with a blanket or coat, performing CPR if you are able, and other protocols you feel comfortable in administering safely.


5. Obtain Critical Information

From the victim, get as much information as possible such as name, address, emergency contact information, details of what happened and symptoms they are experiencing. From bystanders, obtain anything that might be useful such as what happened before you arrived or details involving the trauma.

Give this information to emergency teams when they arrive.


6. Get Help in the event of serious trauma.


Call 911: Have a bystander do this if possible. Or have the victim seek appropriate professional medical emergency treatment immediately.



Acting with knowledge and confidence could help save a life.

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