Providing Emergency Care
As you know, emergencies can happen. Girls need to receive proper instruction in how to care for themselves and others in emergencies. They also need to learn the importance of reporting to adults any accidents, illnesses, or unusual behaviors during Girl Scout activities. To this end, you can help girls:
- Know what to report. See the “Procedures for Accidents” section later in this chapter.
- Establish and practice procedures for weather emergencies. Certain extreme-weather conditions may occur in your area. Please consult with your council for the most relevant information for you to share with girls.
- Establish and practice procedures for such circumstances as fire evacuation, lost persons, and building-security responses. Every girl and adult must know how to act in these situations. For example, you and the girls, with the help of a fire department representative, should design a fire evacuation plan for meeting places used by the group.
- Assemble a well-stocked first-aid kit that is always accessible. First-aid administered in the first few minutes can mean the difference between life and death. In an emergency, secure professional medical assistance as soon as possible, normally by calling 911.
Girl Scouts of Western Ohio works to provide volunteers with increased access to First Aid & CPR certification courses. Please visit www.girlscoutsofwesternohio.org
for the most up to date information on the courses being provided through partnerships with area organizations.
Certification may also be obtained through outside agencies like American Heart Association, American Red Cross, Ohio State Highway Patrol, local fire depts., hospitals, YMCAs, etc. If certification is obtained through an outside agency, evidence of certification must be forwarded to Girl Scouts of Western Ohio.
Girl Scout volunteers who are doctors, nurses, EMTs, paramedics, etc. should contact the First Aid & CPR coordinator at your regional Girl Scout Center to become listed as a troop First-Aider.
A first-aider is an adult volunteer who has taken Girl Scout-approved first-aid and CPR training that includes specific instructions for child CPR. If, through the American Red Cross, National Safety Council, EMP America, or American Heart Association, you have a chance to be fully trained in first-aid and CPR, doing so may make your activity-planning go a little more smoothly. The Safety Activity Checkpoints always tell you when a first-aider needs to be present.
Activities can take place in a variety of locations, which is why first-aid requirements are based on the remoteness of the activity—as noted in the Safety Activity Checkpoints for that activity. For example, it’s possible to do a two-mile hike that has cell phone reception and service along the entire route and EMS (Emergency Medical System) is, at maximum, 15 minutes away at all times. It is also possible to hike more remotely with no cell phone service at a place where EMS would take more than 15 minutes to arrive. It’s important that you or another volunteer with your group has the necessary medical experience (including knowledge of evacuation techniques) to ensure group safety.
The levels of first aid required for any activity take into account both how much danger is involved and how remote the area is from emergency medical services.
Access to EMS
Less than 15 minutes - minimum Level 1 First Aider Required
15-30 minutes - minimum Level 2 First Aider Required
More than 30 minutes - minimum Wilderness First Aid (WFA) or Wilderness First Responder (WFR)*
*Although a WFR is not required, it is strongly recommended when traveling with groups in areas that are greater than 30 minutes from EMS.
The table above does reflect the limitations of some first-aid (level 2) trainings. It is important to understand the differences between an extended first-aid course, like the American Red Cross Sports Safety Training program, and a wilderness-rated course. Although standard and sport-safety first-aid training provides basic incident response, wilderness-rated courses include training on remote-assessment skills, as well as the emergency first-aid response, including evacuation techniques, to use when EMS is not readily available.
Note: The presence of a first-aider (level 2) is required at resident camp. For large events, there should be one first-aider (level 2) for every 200 participants. The following healthcare providers may also serve as first-aiders (level 1 or 2): physician, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner, registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, paramedic, military medic, and emergency medical technician.
Make sure a general first-aid kit is available at your group meeting place and accompanies girls on any activity (including transportation to and from the activity). Please be aware that you may need to provide this kit if one is not available at your meeting place. You can buy a commercial kit, or you and the girls can assemble a kit yourselves. The Red Cross offers a list of potential items in its Anatomy of a First Aid Kit. You can also customize a kit to cover your specific needs, including flares, treatments for frostbite or snake bites, and the like.
In addition to standard materials, all kits should contain your council and emergency telephone numbers (which you can get from your council contact). Girl Scout activity insurance forms, parent consent forms, and health histories may be included, as well.
Procedures for Accidents
Although you hope the worst never happens, you must observe council procedures for handling accidents and fatalities. At the scene of an accident, first provide all possible care for the sick or injured person. Follow established council procedures for obtaining medical assistance and immediately reporting the emergency. To do this, you must always have on hand the names and telephone numbers of council staff, parents/guardians, and local emergency services such as the police, fire department, or hospital emergency technicians.
After receiving a report of an accident, council staff will immediately arrange for additional assistance, if needed, at the scene, and will notify parents/guardians, as appropriate. If a child needs emergency medical care as the result of an accident or injury, first contact emergency medical services, and then follow council procedures for accidents and incidents. Your adherence to these procedures is critical, especially with regard to notifying parents or guardians. If the media is involved, let council-designated staff discuss the incident with these representatives.
In the event of a fatality or other serious accident, notify the police. A responsible adult must remain at the scene at all times. In the case of a fatality, do not disturb the victim or surroundings. Follow police instructions. Do not share information about the accident with anyone but the police, your council, and, if applicable, insurance representatives or legal counsel.
These numbers are for emergency use only. Use these numbers, after-hours and on weekends, to report a serious accident or emergency to a council representative.
Toledo Region 537-225-3595
Lima Region 419-225-3098
Dayton Region 937-279-6599
Cincinnati Region 513-619-1398
The following action should be taken in the event of an incident, accident or emergency during any Girl Scout activity, not just on council-owned sites.
- Secure services of trained medical professional or first-aider on site and give priority to providing all possible care to victim(s).
- Permit no disturbance to victim(s) or surroundings.
- Retain a responsible adult at the scene.
- Secure doctor, ambulance, and/or police. (You are responsible until police assume responsibility.)
- Parent/guardian notification: report nature of emergency, condition of victim, secure parent/guardian wishes regarding:
- Council notification. After notifying parents/guardians and emergency authorities, council staff must be notified of any serious accident or injury. Please use the emergency phone number to contact your director of regional services. If no response is received, please contact the director of regional services of an adjacent region using the pager numbers listed above.
- Exercise care that any statement made orally or in writing reflects only the facts of the incident.
- Statements should only be made to the family, the authorities, medical personnel and the appropriate paid staff members. (The communication manager handles all media releases.)
- Only designated paid staff or council representatives may speak for the council.
- File An Incident/Accident Report Form Within 24 Hours of an Injury
Please send copies of all reports and records to Girl Scouts of Western Ohio in care of the director of regional services.
• LIMA - 1870 West Robb Ave., Lima, OH 45805
• DAYTON - 450 Shoup Mill Rd., Dayton, OH 45415
• CINCINNATI - 4930 Cornell Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45242
• TOLEDO - 2244 Collingwood Blvd., Toledo, OH 43620
Council Representative Responsibilities after Emergency Notification
- After emergency notification, a council representative will provide a written, detailed description of the circumstances of the emergency, including names and contact information of persons involved and personal insurance information if applicable.
- Information for report and follow-up (exact descriptions and records):
- Insurance representative
- Attorney or other appropriate officials
- Girl Scouts of the USA
- Records need to be retained seven (7) years or until person involved has reached legal age.