A Volunteer First Aider at an event
Following on from trying to mix this blog with my passion of First Aid, I thought I would share my “Day in the life of ….” with you, which takes you through a typical First Aid duty whilst covering our local 1st division team football match.
“standrew 2 Alpha to all call signs….”
That’s the voice of the Duty Officer carrying out radio checks before we go live. Every duty starts off in the same manner – event “brief”, radio, equipment and supplies check, and winds down in the same manner with a “de-brief” but very seldom is the bit in the middle the same as any other!
We’re generally at the ground an hour before kick-off, to prepare for the game ahead, for the unforeseeable and sometimes unpredictable! During the brief the call signs and positions are allocated, Health & Safety procedures reiterated including any expectant issues from the crowd, extra time to be played etc. We have to ensure that we are equipped and ready to handle all eventualities.
If, as a spectator at the match, you looked across towards the corner of the stand and Sinclair Street you may notice our First Aid Post. The FAP is always call sign standrew 4, hopefully not many of the visitors to the ground see the inside of this – if you never see it then you are doing well!!!!
The Duty officer post is normally taken up by one of the Company Officers and is always known as Call Sign 2 Alpha – the only Roaming Patrol at the event. Their presence and purpose is to oversee any event and ensure that all goes to plan.
Today I’m part of a two man team with call sign standrew 8, favourite place – top of the middle steps in the cowshed!! Close to where I stand when I’m off duty… Did I mention there are a few ‘Ton fans amongst us?
During the game should a player go down hurt, we take our prompt from the Ref who looks towards the First Aiders poised at the side of the player’s Dug Out ready to pounce and beckons our assistance with the signal of two hands lifting a stretcher, on come the 4-man scoop team (standrew 6 and 7) and carefully and effectively remove the player from the pitch, off at the nearest point to pitch-side, place him on a trolley and transport him around the perimeter down the tunnel and into the dressing room for assessment by the team Doctor. That in itself is not an easy task on the pink shale that covers the majority of the area around the pitch.
Of course we are not only there for the players. Our main role is to support the spectators and ensure they are safe and well throughout the game. We have dealt with many incidents at the ground, everything from a simple fall on the steps resulting in a cut to the leg to the slightly more serious eventuality of a seizure and even a more life threatening heart attack. However, the satisfaction of being there, being on hand with the skills and knowledge to deal with these incidents and to preserve life is part of what makes the role special.
“standrew 2 Alpha to all call signs, please ensure your area is clear from spectators and then make your way back to the First Aid post ….”
And once again through the ear piece, the Duty Officer calls through with what is usually the last comms order before we head back in for the “de-brief”, break-down of kit and head off home. Content in the knowledge that we have been there, looking after all those in attendance.
St Andrew’s First Aid has been keeping Scotland’s communities safe for over 100 years. We’re a group of trained volunteers, who give up our time to provide first aid cover at local, regional and national events.
“Being a volunteer with St Andrew’s First Aid allows us to be part of many top events and to provide a valuable and sometimes life-saving service to the community”.
So, relax and enjoy life – you’re in safe hands.
St Andrew’s First Aid Inverclyde Company – “Second to None”