First Aid training for security
Basic training in first aid is vital for everyone. It gives you the confidence to respond to accidents and injuries, preventing further harm and in some cases, saving life. For some SIA licensed staff, it has now become mandatory: SIA Door Supervisor or Security Guard licence applicants are required to complete a first aid qualification before taking their licence-linked training and for the renewing the licence from 1 October 2021.
Some basic first aid training could make a huge difference in how you respond and the outcome for the people involved. For example, would you know what to do if your colleague was having a stroke or a heart attack? How about if your son broke his arm, or your neighbour had a deep cut on her leg? What if two people were injured in a car crash outside your office? How would you prioritise who to treat first?
Accidents and illness are part of our lives. The Royal Society for Prevention of Accidents at Home (RoSPA) reports that 6,000 deaths occur each year at home. The Health and Safety Executive reported 693,00 accidents at work in 2019/20 with about 111 resulting in death.
First Aid is not all about saving lives: you can reduce the pain for someone in crisis and prevent the situation deteriorating further. At a time when our National Health System is under acute pressure from the pandemic, some well applied first aid can also reduce the time an injured person has to spend in hospital and their overall recovery time. Could you be a first aider – a person who provides initial assistance or treatment to someone who is injured or taken ill?
First Aid at work
Under the Health and Safety Act, it is a legal requirement that a company with five staff or more has a qualified first aider, and if the business involves machinery or chemicals or other potentially hazardous environments, there are further requirements in place. If you are responsible for premises where events are held with large numbers of people attending, you must ensure sufficient staff with first aid qualifications are available.
First Aid for Security Officers
From 1st April 2021 SIA Door Supervisor or Security Guard licence applicants are required to complete a first aid qualification before taking their licence-linked training and for the renewing the licence from 1 October 2021.
First Aid Trainer Joseph Hughes believes everyone in a work environment should have at least basic first aid training, in particular, reception and front of house staff and security officers: “They are generally the first people on the scene, working closely at the front of a building and may frequently need to call on their first aid knowledge.”
First Aid Training for security officers also increases their confidence and self-esteem. Joseph says: “They have the knowledge and training to deal with an emergency. It is a great motivator.”
David Ward adds: “Security Officers are often the first responders to any incident and therefore it makes common sense that they should at least be first aid trained, better still, trained how to use a trauma pack which every commercial building in the City should hold.” David went on to describe an incident where a dog handler attended a scene with two security officers to find a victim with seventeen major stab wounds. “The training and teamwork the three officers had undertaken without doubt saved the person’s life.”
First Aid outside work
First aid is not just important at work – it’s valuable in everyday life. Your neighbour could fall out of a tree, or off a ladder. You may be involved in a sports club, or outdoor activity where injuries occur. Or, you may just want to keep your family safe. RoSPA reports that the majority of accidents at home occur in the lounge. David Ward says: “First Aid training allows us to preserve lives, be it our own or other peoples. In an ideal world it would be taught in every school so every child growing up had the ability to deliver first aid if needed.”
Dealing with an incident
First Aid training will give you confidence to deal effectively with a situation. If you spend some time learning the procedures and priorities, it will mean that, although you will be nervous, once you begin to deal with an incident, your training will kick in. A first aid course gives you time to learn about the most up-to-date practices and procedures, ask questions and try things in practice, like CPR on a dummy and using a defibrillator.
A First Aid Trainer for the Girl Guides says, “You can only do what you know and doing what you can is better than doing nothing. Something inside you will help you cope and remember your training.”
A key part of the training is working out your priorities when dealing with an incident, such as: protecting yourself and others from further danger, preventing cross-infection, comforting and reassuring, assessing the casualty and giving early treatment – while remaining calm, in control and building trust. Our Executive Editor and First Aider Eugene O’Mahony says: “I always approach the individual speaking calmly, introducing myself and telling them I am here to help.”
Types of First Aid Training
There are many organisations offering training. In the UK, the two key organisations are St John Ambulance and the British Red Cross. There are also a range of specialist, local providers offering bespoke courses for individuals and organisations. Some First Aid trainers advocate enhanced medical training for security officers, Simon Rogers of Turret Training suggests following the Police D13 Enhanced FAW course.
Whichever training organisation you choose, it is important to ensure your trainer is properly qualified and up to date with latest practices.
Sources of Information
A good place to start is the First Aid Manual, written in conjunction with St John Ambulance, St Andrew’s First Aid and British Red Cross. They also offer a range of videos online showing how to deal with critical situations such as heart attack and stroke and how to use a defibrillator.
In future editions of City Security magazine, we will include a regular first aid section, each covering major First Aid topics, such as Choking, Shock, Bleeding, Burns, Fractures and Sprains, Head injury, Asthma attack and Anaphylactic shock.
Whether at home, in the garden or in the park, knowing that you know what to do when accidents happen means you can enjoy life’s adventures and deal with the injuries that happen.
Editor, City Security magazine