Should you move a casualty before providing care?

Moving a victim before you provide care has been a question that almost every class brings up. Its a great question with a simple answer There are some reason’s when moving a person may be the only option to save their life or even prevent them from further injury. You may want to move a casualty if there are dangerous environments which could also do further harm to the patient, dangerous animals, toxins / poisons, or even machinery. One thing to remember “before” you move a patient is “Will this make things better or worse?” You do have to weigh the situation vs desirable outcome, often the phrase used is “Life over Limb”. If the Casualties life is in immediate threat due to their surroundings “Move them away from the danger”, however, if moving them makes the situation worse and their surroundings are “not” an issue “Keep them in the position found or in a position of comfort.

“REMEMBER” You may not have to move a patient, if their “Spine” is in danger always refer to your 911 dispatcher for further advice before attempting First Aid techniques.

How to move a Patient from a dangerous environment:

  • Collar Drag – At the head of the patient – Roll the person’s clothing “Collar” behind their neck in a ball in your hand bunching their clothing under the armpits, bend with your knees and lift with your legs, drag the victim to safety.
  • One Arm Drag – Kneeling at the head of the victim slide the persons torso into your lap, lay one of the victims arms across their chest and reach through their opposite arm pit to grip their folded arms wrist, slip your other hand under the other arm pit and grip the folded arms forearm, bend with your knees, lift with your legs and drag to safety.
  • 2 Person Collar Drag – Combine the one arm drag technique with adding a partner, each rescuer should grab the collar on opposite sides of the victim and facing in the direction you wish to go bend with your knees and lift with your legs dragging them to safety.
  • 2 Person Carry – Combine the one arm drag technique to lift the victim’s torso and add a partner to lift the legs by folding them across each other gripping by the lower leg under the calf, face in the direction you wish to go, bend with your knees, lift with your legs and carry the victim to safety.

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Above all else remember to Protect Yourself!!! Call 911!!! Don’t Wast Time!!!

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Should you Drive an ill or Injured Person to the Hospital?

This question gets asked by students taking our first aid courses all the time, and we do see the conundrum that many face in an Emergency as Liability, distance, Time or even a persons life may be at stake. For these very reasons we have come up with the simplest way to look at it.

Try not to…..., but if you do decide to take a person to the hospital we have included some steps to keep you and the victim safe. Lets call this “Stay & Play VS Load & Go

Stay & Play Wait for an Ambulance

  • Never drive an ill or injured person to the hospital if their condition is “Life Threatening” or spine related. The movement of being in a vehicle may adversely affect their injuries. You may not have to move the patient, your 911 Dispatcher will advise you on options you may have to secure the best medical aid given.

Load & Go Take them to a hospital

  • For “Non-Life Threatening” injuries or illness.
  1. Step #1 – “911 on Speaker Phone” – Have 911 on speaker phone so everyone knows what the dispatcher needs you to do. This will also let the hospital know you are coming.
  2. Step #2 – “Take a Partner” – Have a calm person drive while you continue care. Having a partner to help in an emergency setting can make all the difference.
  3. Step #3 – “You Can NOT Speed” – as your vehicle is not a designated emergency vehicle its lack of visibility and sirens will put you and others into danger if you attempt to break the rules of the road. Just remember, if you get there safely, the victim will too, Better safe than sorry.

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Just Remember:

Protect Yourself!!! Call 911!!! Don’t Waste Time!!!

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The Emergency Medical Services

Most common it is believed that the Emergency Medical System starts with paramedics and nurses, the truth in fact is that the Emergency System begins with “You“. There are many reason’s why you may hold back from helping someone in an emergency, fear of infection, fear of Liability, fear of repercussions or even fear of helping in the wrong way.

Just remember that in Alberta you are “NOT” obligated to perform any act of First Aid even if you are certified. However we do hope that you would help or at the very least Call 911.

The Sooner you start CPR for a casualty that is not breathing the sooner their brain can get life saving blood and oxygen.

Even if your nervous calling 911 is still helping. Emergency workers will only come and help if you call 911.


Protect yourself!!! Call 911!!! & Don’t Waste Time!!!

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Whooping Cough “Pertussis”

Whooping cough can be a life threatening infection that affects Babies, toddlers and young children adversely. In babies whooping cough can lead to a life threatening symptom known as “Apnea” causing pauses in normal breathing, pneumonia, feeding problems, weight loss, seizures, brain damage and in some cases “Death“. Older children and adults can catch Whooping Cough and pass it on to babies and young children as carriers, continuing the spread.

Who is at risk? Anyone can get whooping cough unfortunately, people living in the same household with someone who has contracted whooping cough are especially at risk. Immunization “does” reduce the risk of infection, but immunity does fade over time and boosters should be utilized to hep prevent the spread.


  • Much like a cold Whooping Cough usually begins with a blocked or runny nose, tiredness, mild fever and a cough.
  • As symptoms progress the cough worsens and leads to severe bouts of uncontrollable coughing. These coughing bouts may be followed by vomiting, choking or taking big gasping breaths which causes a “whooping” sound. This cough can last for many weeks and can be worse at night.
  • Some Newborns may not cough at all but they can stop breathing and turn blue. Some babies may even have difficulties feeding and can choke or gag easily.
  • Older children and adults may just have a cough that lasts for many weeks. They may also not have the “whoop” sound when they cough but are still able to pass on Whooping Cough.

How is it Spread?

Whooping cough is spread when an infectious person coughs bacteria / virus into the air, that same air or particulates are inhaled by people nearby. If they are not treated early, people who are infected with whooping cough are “very” infectious in the “first three weeks” of their illness. Whooping cough also spreads easily through families, childcare centers, schools and shopping centers.


Whooping cough vaccines are “proven” to provide a good protection from infection, however immune responses from a vaccine do fade with time, which means that boosters are needed.

  • Wash your hands
  • If your ill, prevent the spread by staying at home and avoiding group gatherings where you can spread the disease by accident.


  • Vaccines “DO NOT” cause Autism. Autism is not a disease.
  • Vaccines “DO NOT” have mercury in them. Mercury is not a preservative.

Diagnosis & Treatments

“Always consult a medical professional before treating illness on your own, home made remedies may not have the desired effect and may make the illness-symptoms worse”

  • If you have been in contact with someone with whooping cough early in their illness “first 3 weeks” they are infectious and you may have been exposed. Watch for symptoms and see your doctor if a new cough begins. Some babies and some pregnant women need antibiotics to prevent whooping cough infection if they have had significant contact “family member” with an infectious person.

In Alberta Canada you can contact “811” to contact the Alberta Health Link, a Registered Nurse or Paramedic will help you with treatments and options, they may also refer to you to bring the child into a Hospital for treatment.

In any emergency just remember to Protect Yourself!!! Call 911!!! Don’t Waste Time!!!

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