The Event Safety Guide (HSG 198) specifies the definition of a First Aider as: A First Aider is a person who holds a current certificate of first-aid competency issued by the three voluntary aid societies (or certain other bodies or organisations); St John Ambulance, British Red Cross Society or St Andrew's Ambulance Association.

The first aider should have prior training or experience in providing first aid at crowd events.

Note: The completion of a 'Health and Safety at Work' or four day "First Aid at Work" course does not necessarily qualify a person as competent to administer first aid to members of the public.

Unfortunately the guidance is not specific about what "certain other bodies or organisations" means. It also specifies that:

First Aiders, ambulance and medical workers should:

  • Be at least 16 years old and not over 65 years old;
  • Have no other duties or responsibilities;
  • Have identification;
  • Have protective clothing;
  • Have relevant experience or knowledge of requirements for first aid at major public events;
  • Be physically psychologically equipped to carry out the assigned roles;
  • Also, first aiders under 18 years old must not work unsupervised."

First Aid at Events is not about having 'a mate who does a bit of first aid equipped with a box of plasters', nor is it necessarily having the company First Aider, appointed under the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981, providing services to members of the general public, unless they are competent and comfortable to do so.

Public First Aid is a very different scenario to the workplace. First Aiders should not have other jobs to do as well - for example stewarding or security, although that does not stop stewards or security personnel from being first -aid trained.

The question one must ask is if the first aider is doing first aid, who is doing the other job that was assigned to that person.

First Aiders need to be equipped to do the job and have access to a facility in which they can work. Consider Patient confidentiality and dignity. The best advice is to approach a recognised body that provides such services.