First aid services are a key part of safety management for outdoor events. As an event organiser, you should ensure that the first aid service contracted to the event is licenced.
All first aid services, providing commercial first aid in Victoria are now required to be licenced under the Non-Emergency Patient Transport and First Aid Services Act 2003 (the Act). Having a licenced first aid service is important to ensure the provision of quality and safe patient care.
Be aware that first aid providers can only operate their first aid service at the level they are licenced, either basic, intermediate or advanced. As an event organiser, it is your responsibility to provide appropriate, updated information about the event to enable the first aid service to determine the clinical care requirements. The first aid service is will undertake their own risk assessment to ensure that it matches the event profile.
The number of First Aid personnel required will vary depending on the size and nature of your event - speak to your First Aid provider to determine the most suitable number of personnel and posts. As a general rule you will need 1-2 personnel for the first 1000 patrons and one additional personnel for each 1000 patrons thereafter... however each event will need to be assessed on a case-by-case basis and accordingly to its inherent risk factors.
An important aspect of safety management is suitable access for emergency vehicles. This includes site entrances, access and exits for First Aid posts, and also direct access to any areas of high risk.
First Aid providers at events need adequate lighting, access to water and power, and suitable waste disposal. First Aid posts should be located centrally, but not directly near areas of high noise, such as rides and stages. In consultation with your First Aid provider it may be decided that their services are also required at ‘bump-in’ and ‘bump-out’ as these phases of an event can sometimes pose higher risks than the event itself.
There are a range of First Aid suppliers, including Red Cross, St John Ambulance as well as other commercial suppliers.
It is useful to remember that your event is a workplace for event staff, stallholders and others. In this light an important resource is WorkSafe Victoria’s 2008 Compliance Code First aid in the workplace.
Another very useful and comprehensive resource is the Victorian Guidelines for Planning Safe Public Events.
To locate a list of licenced first aid services visit the Department of Health’s website.