The first-step in getting ‘first aid-ready’ is to buy or make your own kit for your home or car. Ready- made first aid kits are available at most department stores. These kits come in a variety of sizes and prices. You can also make your own kit from supplies you may already have around your house. Some items that should be included in a basic first aid kit are the following:
Having a personal first aid kit will help to familiarize you with the contents of the kit so that you may be better prepared to take quick-action in an emergency. The next step in our first aid chapter, is to know what to do while waiting for an ambulance to arrive to an incident. Call 911 instead of trying to take an injured or ill person to the hospital yourself. It seems like waiting for an ambulance will make it take longer to get help, but ambulance crews can start providing care as soon as they arrive. They can get the patient to hospital quickly, legally, and more safely. Stay on the line with 911 and follow emergency instructions:
Stay calm and try to keep the patient calm.
Don’t move a patient who was injured in an automobile accident or fall, or who was found unconscious.
If the patient is cold, cover them with a blanket.
Don’t give an injured person anything to eat or drink (unless instructed by the 911 dispatcher).
Have someone watch for the ambulance and show the crew how to get to the patient. (This is especially important in an apartment or office building, or if your address is hard to see from the street).
Finally, the last step to prepare for an emergency situation in which first aid may be needed, is to take formal training in CPR/AED-use. First responders may not be on the scene for five minutes or more. It is up to individuals like you to be ready to help someone who is injured. The person whose life you save may be someone that you love. Contact your local American Red Cross chapter to learn what first aid classes are available in our area.