First Aid Policy

Purpose
The purpose of this document is to outline the first aid policy for the Southern Skirmish Association, and give guidelines for its implementation.
Since SOSKAN is an association of individual members who pay a membership subscription towards the running of the organisation, but cannot be considered as “employees”, SOSKAN is not bound by law to provide first aid facilities for them.  Nor is SOSKAN responsible for first aid cover for the public at events, as this should be provided by the client who invites us onto their premises. This means that members are neither “public” nor “staff”.

However, the Association recognises that there may be occasions where the elements of risk associated with re-enactment indicate that it would be a wise solution to have a voluntary first aid policy which covers the members.  This may also be expected by the clients, and can be considered an advantage as part of a well-developed Health and Safety policy.

In this respect it is prudent for SOSKAN to consider using the guidelines issued by the Health and Safety Executive as a template for building internal guidelines, as well as considering those parts of English Law which refer to the responsibility and duty of care of one person to another.

Responsible person
The EC are responsible for overseeing and managing the provision of first aid at each event, with the support of the officers, NCOs and medical units where available.

The EC will appoint a First Aid Administrator with appropriate skills/qualifications to co-ordinate the provision of first aid during the event period, both on and off the field.  This person may also nominate an assistant or stand in for an event which they are unable to attend. (Job description Appendix D).  If the Administrator is not a full EC member, they will be accountable to the EC, and will be expected to provide regular reports and recommendations.

Liability
Many people are concerned about the issue of personal or corporate liability when attending an accident or sudden illness.  However, in the UK there has not been successful prosecution against a first aider who has acted without malice, although they may have indeed given the wrong treatment in good faith.

Where cases have been brought forward, they have been against the organisation employing the first aider, and not against the individual.  Since SOSKAN is not an employer, it is unlikely to be considered to be liable.

Conversely, there have been successful prosecutions of people who have deliberately withheld treatment when they are qualified to offer it. However, people with qualifications are only expected to carry out those skills in which they have been trained, and are competent, and going beyond their qualification or ability level could leave them open to accusations.

Personal insurance
Under the general banner of Health and Safety and English Law, we all have a responsibility to take reasonable care of ourselves and each other.  Since re-enacting can have inherent risks to participants, it would be advisable for all members to have a personal accident insurance to cover themselves in the case of an accident whilst at an event.

Qualified First Aiders

A Qualified First Aider (QFA) refers to anyone with a full and current first aid certificate.  It may be First Aid at Work, or a social course or the equivalent issued by a recognised teaching body and clinically approved.

SOSKAN recognises that there may be people who hold qualifications but do not wish to use them, so only those people who register themselves as being willing to undertake first aid activities at events will be classified at QFA’s at an event.

QFA's must provide the First Aid Administrator with a copy of their current first aid certificate at the beginning of each year. If a certificate is due to run out during that year, a new one must be provided before the QFA registers at any event occurring after its expiry.

QFA's are asked to register their availability at each event with the First Aid Administrator, or in the event of their absence, the Secretary or other nominated person.

Officers are expected to check who the duty QFA's are on each day of each event.

Responsibilities

QFA's will be expected to respond to requests for first aid from any member of the Assocation during an event, both on and off the field.

QFA's must accept that they are expected to attend and treat as necessary any member who is in need, regardless of which role they or the patient are re-enacting, both on and off the field.

QFA's should only work within their own abilities and training.  If they attend an incident which is beyond their skill, they must arrange for further support (such as calling an ambulance).

QFA's should be willing to go to the assistance of anyone who requests additional support, either for members or the public.

All incidents are to be entered on an Accident Report Form Appendix B

First aid equipment

All QFA's should have in their possession at all times a basic first aid kit, containing recommended items as listed in Appendix A.

Larger kits are held at:
Union Headquarters
Confederate Headquarters
The Artillery
Family camp

Replacements for all first aid kits can be applied for using an appropriate form Appendix C

The provision of basic first aid kits and approved replacements are the responsibility of SOSKAN.  However, any supplementary items which the individual QFA feels is suitable for SOSKAN events (such as glucose for diabetes, Aspirin for cardiac incidents, headache treatments etc) will not be the responsibility of SOSKAN.

Guest organisations

Any invited guest Societies must inform the Secretary in advance regarding Qualified First Aiders in their organisation who are willing to offer their services at a particular event. They will be expected to register their availability and follow SOSKAN guidelines as indicated in the SOSKAN policy. The guest society will be responsible for re-provisioning any used equipment by their members.

Members welfare

It is recognised that some members may have specific conditions which could require first aid under certain circumstances. It is therefore recommended that such members inform the First Aid Administrator for the specific event of any condition for which they have been diagnosed, and for which they may need assistance. This information must be considered as highly confidential, and only passed to people whom the member permits.

Members who are prescribed specific medication will be expected to carry it with them, and administer it themselves. Members who are at risk are also advised where appropriate, to wear or carry a “medic alert” tag.