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    A Question of Safety

    Katie Hateley, paramedic and director of first aid training company FoxMedics asks some challenging questions regarding your personal safety.

    How many of you Arborists HONESTLY climb with your First Aid bag?

    Do they snag on branches? Do they get soaked through during a rainy day until the bandages fall apart? From my minimal climbing experience I can see how climbing with a First Aid bag could be cumbersome. As mentioned in my first article if you had the misfortune of cutting through one of your major arteries the potential of becoming unconscious in less than one minute is quite high. So if this occurs whilst in a tree and you have no first aid kit to hand how are you expected to manage the bleed? Military style Tourniquets are small and compact and can stop an arterial bleed to an arm or leg. They weigh and measure less than a chocolate bar and can fit neatly into a pocket and not hinder your work and more importantly can save your life.

    Where is your First Aid kit kept during your working day?

    Is it neatly hidden away behind the back seat of your work van which is parked on the road 100 metres from where you are working from?If an incident occurs the obvious best place for your First Aid kit is as close as safely possible to your working area. Why create more problems by hunting around for it when time may already be precious.

    First Aid kits can be easily brought from an online store with a multitude of plasters for finger wounds, triangular bandages and medium sized dressings. Is this an appropriate amount of dressings to manage anything beyond a papercut or nick to the arm? I would personally say no.The HSE (Health and Safety Executive) offer a First Aid content list as a guide but what you actually place into your First Aid kit is entirely up to you.

    “There is no mandatory list of items to put in a first-aid box. It depends on what you assess your needs to be.” So with this in mind why not choose bandages and dressings that would be appropriate for the injuries you are more susceptible to.

    Military Field Dressings have been tried and tested throughout the years. The main basis of the dressing is to combine a large absorbent pad attached to a crepe style bandage which will provide the compression needed to stop a bleed through Direct Pressure. There are many types of Military style dressings on the market, some of which include a pressure bar or cup also attached to the dressing to provide extra pressure. Whichever you choose make sure the dressing is adequate for the management of a major bleed and larger than a recommended medium sized dressing.

    You need to contact the emergency services but have no phone signal.

    I always assumed that the emergency services could be contacted even without a signal (and I work for them!), but this is not the case. So how do we get around this problem..

    One way to do this is to buy yourself a PLB (Personal Locator Beacon) which can cost from £100 upwards. A PLB is a device which can pinpoint exactly where you are in the world no matter how remote the area. Once activated, a signal will be sent via the magic of satellite which will enable the Emergency Services, mountain rescue and coastal guard to find your exact location.

    Another way is to call 112 from your phone. This number enables you to contact the Emergency Services, Mountain Rescue and Costal Guard anywhere in the European Union and many other countries worldwide. 112 is built into each SIM card for all mobile phones so if you dial 112 and you have no signal for your network it will try and locate a signal from any other available network provider to enable you the best chance of reaching the Emergency Services. The other added option with 112 is that you can also use a texting service. The advantage of a text is that it needs far less signal than when using a voice messaging service so the chance of the text reaching 112 is far greater when no signal is available. You do have to register your phone to use this service but it is very straightforward. Just text ‘register’ to 112, you will then receive a reply with further instructions which will ask you to text ‘yes’ to 999. You will then receive confirmation via text.

    Take a look at the link attached for more information,

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPZv_8dABfU

     

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