The first step in any emergency, whether it’s a need for First Aid or CPR, is to check to make sure the scene is safe.
When thinking of safety most of us think of the super obvious things; if someone was lying in the road we would check to make sure there were no cars coming.
But safety is any potential hazard that could impact your ability to help someone else.
Hazards could be something very obvious – traffic, downed power lines, smoke, or fire.
Hazards could be something small that you could miss – a wet or slippery floor, broken glass or sharp objects.
Hazards could also be your personal safety. It’s dark, you think you see someone lying on the ground a distance away. Is it safe for you to go check on them? Maybe, maybe not.
Because here’s the thing – if you get hurt, who is going to help the person you are trying to help? Who is going to help you? Who is going to call for help? Because no one knows that you are hurt.
If the scene is not safe, or if you are not sure of your safety, call for help first. Then either wait for help to arrive or at least alert someone to what you are doing. That way if something does happen to you someone knows where you are.
Scene safety is the first step in CPR or First Aid, and it’s a step that a lot of people forget. It’s one of the most important steps when helping someone in an emergency. You cannot help someone if you become injured.