Requires a dedicated QUALIFIED person on call 24 hours a day.
St John Ambulance (or an equivalent event first aid company) can be paid to cover an event during the day. However it is not necessary to pay for extra first aid cover if you can find qualified volunteers.
Your venue may already have enough qualified first aid staff during the day.
Security staff are often first aid qualified and can provide night cover if you arrange this in advance. Remember though, that while security are handling first aid incidents they will not be doing their job as security staff.
Medical students may or may not be useful to handle incidents, but if they are not qualified you should have a qualified first aider in addition.
Main team members are not ideal for on-call night first aid. It's not realistic to work a hard full time "day job" involving long hours, and also be on call during the night.
Supplies for the first aider
- A first aid kit
- You are legally required to keep an accident book so you can log any accidents and your response.
- If possible, a separate area or room where the first aider can treat their victims and give them some privacy, it is useful for them to have access to running water too if possible.
- The address of the nearest hospital with a casualty department, the nearest late-night pharmacist, and the address of your event (for calling an ambulance). Postcodes for all of the above.
- Optionally, the phone number of someone with a vehicle who knows where the nearest casualty department is and who can drive non-urgent but painful cases there.
- Vomit cleaning kit and a bucket. Many first aid "incidents", especially on the first evening or two, will involve drunken people who are throwing up or hoping they will soon throw up. It's useful to have supplies to leave with their friends to clean up the vomit. The first aider can play a big "preventative" part in making sure that neither they nor the organising team nor the volunteers have to clean up after other people's nocturnal adventures.
Supplies for reg desk
- Ideally, another first aid kit.
- A copy of the info about addresses of casualty, pharmacy and the event itself.
- Clear signs telling everyone where they can find first aid (put this information in registration information pack/programme too)
Sometimes, first aiders find themselves dealing with people who have been taking illegal substances. They can be reluctant to go to hospital in case the police or their parents are called. If they need to go to hospital, your friendly security staff may be able to help persuade them (nicely) to go. Security staff who have festival experience will have done this before. Needless to say, if there's any doubt about whether they need to be in hospital, they need to be in hospital.