The importance of First Aid in TV & Film
On Friday the 25th of May, Steve and I attended a first aid course run by Chiltern Development Training Ltd , and thanks to them we are now officially first aid trained. The aims of a first aider should be to preserve life, prevent the injury from worsening and to promote recovery.
Now we are first aid trained we have confidence that we can work professionally while also keeping everyone safe. On the course we learnt how to manage unconscious casualties, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), responding to incidents involving choking or external bleeding, administering first aid to casualties with suspected head or spinal injuries or those who have suffered a burn.
To begin with we sat through a talk with a trained paramedic who gave us all the information we need, then we were able to practice some of the information on a dummy that he had brought with him. We had to demonstrate that we could properly asses the scene on approach, check air ways properly, give compressions effectively and if needed that we know how to use a defibrillator.
Whether you’re on location with a big set or in the studio with a few people, it is always good to have at least one first aider present. There are so many things that could happen on set because everyone is focused on the project and capturing the right footage that it is easy for people to become unaware of what is around them. Not a lot of people realise how common it is for accidents to happen on film sets and in studios. For example...Leonardo DiCaprio cut his hand on a piece of glass on the set of ‘Django Unchained’ leaving him with stitches, Brad Pitt ruptured his Achilles tendon on the set of ‘Troy’ after landing the wrong way, James May suffered concussion after hitting his head while trying to help his colleagues pull a car up a slope, and Jennifer Ellison sliced her head open during her performance on dancing on ice. There have been many more, luckily they all had first aid teams on set.
It is always good to be prepared. The TV & Film business may be particularly prone to accidents but every workplace should have a first aid kit as you never know when you might need it. It is also important to make sure that everything in your first aid kit is in date and usable since the health and safety regulations 1981 require employers to have appropriate equipment. The recommended equipment to keep in a first aid box is:
- Small, medium and large sterile gauze dressings
- At least 2 sterile eye dressings
- Triangular bandages
- Crepe rolled bandages
- Safety pins
- Disposable sterile gloves
- Tweezers and scissors
- Alcohol-free cleansing wipes
- Sticky tape
- Thermometer (preferably digital)
- Skin rash cream or spray to relieve insect bites and stings
- Cough medicine
- Antihistamine tablets
- Distilled water for cleaning wounds
- Eye wash/eye bath
The NHS also recommend keeping plasters and painkillers (such as paracetamol) in the box but some people may have allergies so it is important to ask about allergies before you give your patient anything. Another good thing you can buy for your first aid kit is a thermoplastic bag or as some people call it, “mouth pump”. These can really help you in a case of emergency, they save you from having to do mouth to mouth as that can be dangerous to do.
Personally I feel like going on the course was a great thing. Not only do I feel more confident at work, I feel more confident that if something happened when I was out or if something happened to my family, I could help them until the ambulance arrived. I would highly recommend going on a first aid course to everyone. According to research done by the British Heart Foundation, 7 in 10 adults lack the knowledge and confidence to act if someone collapses and is not breathing and/or if someone is bleeding heavily. In addition to this, The British Red Cross estimate that only 1 in 13 people feel confident they could carry out first aid on someone.