First Aid Basics

There are basic guiding principles that are required to be followed in all First Aid emergency situations:

  • First, assess the scene to ensure that it is safe for you and the victim. If it is not safe, do not enter.  Do not become a victim.  Contact 911 immediately.
  • Calmly and swiftly assess the emergency and recognize the problem.  Proceed with caution.
  • It is critical to call for professional help immediately based on the seriousness of the incident.
  • Give care based on your skills and knowledge. Dial 911 immediately for emergency situations. 
  • Use universal precautions – Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when available.
  • Use disposable gloves to avoid direct contact with blood, bodily fluids.
  • Try to cover your own cuts, sores, wounds, and any skin conditions with a bandage before responding.
  • Stay at the scene to comfort and calm the ill or injured person until help arrives.
  • Do not immediately move the ill or injured person.  If you act inappropriately, the injury may worsen.
  • If you suspect that a victim has suffered a spinal or neck injury, do not move or shake the victim.


  • It is vital you do not provide First Aid to a person that refuses to give you permission.  Follow these steps.
  • If the person is responsive, tell them you are trained in First Aid and ask if you can help.   Permission is implied if you come upon a person who is unconscious or unable to respond.
  • If the person agrees, give First Aid.
  • If the person refuses help, activate EMS (call 911).
  • Always check for medical alert tags on the ill or injured, especially on the neck, wrist, and ankle – pass this information on to the EMS.
  • If the person is confused, assume that they want your help. Proceed carefully and explain what you are doing and how you are helping them.