Being aware of your surroundings and having situational awareness can help prevent you from becoming a victim when you are helping others. When you stop to help someone in need, there are often many other factors that can hinder your ability to render aid. These types of factors could include inclement weather, road construction, traffic accidents, and other activities happening around you in the background. These are all situations that you must consider and increase your situational awareness. If you did not consider scene safety during an emergency situation, you could be become a victim due to other factors such as those listed above.
Be aware of any hazardous materials around you. If you arrive at the scene of a traffic accident, there could be oil or gasoline on the ground around you from the accident. These hazardous materials could threaten your safety and your ability to help someone. If there has been an accident involving machinery or natural disaster, there could be damaged structures that are unsafe to enter. Considering every possibility can help keep you safe.
If you find yourself in a violent situation, do not try to be the hero. Stay safe until help arrives. You cannot help others if you have become a victim yourself. Stay hidden, but alert so that you can assess the situation. You may find an opportunity to safely move yourself or others to a safer location while waiting for aid. Each situation will be unique and different and should be assessed using situational awareness so that all risk factors are considered before making a decision.
Always use PPE, or personal protective equipment, when you can. Personal protective equipment are items that cover and protect you so that you do not come into contact with blood or other bodily fluids. PPE examples are items such as gloves, hard hats, safety goggles, face shields, masks, shoe coverings, and aprons. Depending on what type of situation you are in, that will dictate what type of PPE items you should be using. Access each situation independently so that you can make informed decisions and prevent you from becoming a victim as well. Scene safety uses situational awareness to consider and monitor other outside factors that could hinder your ability to provide aid to another individual.
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