Guide to Event First Aid
Download Guide to Event First Aid


First aid defined

First aid is the first point of medical assistance for someone who is injured or ill. It is the initial stage of treatment before a patient may require further treatment by a medical service, ie a health professional or doctor.

Who can provide first aid?

Anyone can provide first aid whether or not they have acquired training. It is however recommended that this is only provided in the basic stages of treatment and that further medical attention (first aid) is provided by a first responder. In the case of injury or illness, a first responder may ultimately maintain the situation until treatment can be provided by a health professional or doctor.

Am I required to provide first aid at my event?

As the nature of any event, large or small, can be unpredictable, it is a requirement for event organisers to provide sufficient first aid to ensure that any case of injury or illness can be dealt with appropriately. The number of first responders required will of course depend on the event but a minimum level of emergency management capacity should be present.

What do I need to consider when organising first aid for my event?

Despite the unpredictable on the event day, there are a number of things to consider when assessing risk and planning the first aid required for your event. These include but may not be limited to the number of spectators and event staff, event environment, time of year (weather conditions etc), distance to emergency hospital, and planned attendance by other emergency services.


Contact the experts

Get in contact with your first aid staff/medical care provider. Local Councils and ambulance services can refer you to first aid/medical event providers in your area. Look for a provider that can positively contribute to the process by getting involved early, assisting with event planning and offering expert advice.

Fill them in on the details

Brief your provider with as much information about the event as you can so they can determine:
the number, location and requirements for your treatment areas/posts
how many and what kind of personnel you should organise for your event.

Ensure they are easy to find

Confirm the dress/uniform for the first aid/medical team to ensure they are easily identifiable.

Be prepared for any situation

Make sure the first aid/medical care provider can be mobile with pre-packed medical kits to attend to an incident at any location in your site. Remember backstage/staff areas and behind stage barriers. Many large music events have first aid/medical personnel positioned between the stage barrier and the stage. Some events have dedicated first aid personnel backstage to assist artists and presenters.

Keep the lines of communication open

Work with your first aid/medical team to determine how you will contact each other quickly and efficiently during the event. The use of an independent communications network within your first aid provider’s service can be beneficial in maintaining effective communication on the day.

Help them get from A to B

Provide the first aid/medical team with a clearly referenced site map to assist in pinpointing site locations and areas for security assistance.

Show them how they fit

Display the structure of the event organisation in an emergency so your first aid/medical care provider understand their role within it.

Be ready to make the call

In case you need to call an ambulance, plan who will make the call, who will direct the ambulance and who will clear a path when the ambulance arrives. Identify whether your first aid provider have a relationship with the state ambulance service which can be beneficial in the case of emergency.

Think ahead, not on your feet

Develop a plan to handle different situations, e.g patients who are violent, intoxicated, under 18, uncooperative or who may require translation services. When planning for scenarios specific to your event, see if your
first aid provider can offer a consultancy service to help you manage those situations.

Provide designated parking

Ensure reserved parking is provided for emergency service vehicles. Additionally a marquee and appropriate “overflow” plan will be useful in the case of a wide-spread illness outbreak, where multiple vehicles may need to occupy further space onsite.

Provide clear first aid signage

Ensure first aid and area/post is well signed from every direction and identifiable day and night. Discuss with your first aid provider to supply their own signage if possible and ensure patrons can identify signs with first
aid staff uniforms.

Take out the trash

Dedicate BIO waste rubbish bins and have a plan in place for hazardous waste and sharps. Check to see if your first aid/medical care provider have an option to manage this directly.


The first aid provider should keep a compilation of casualty data from the event and provide an overall report to assist in planning first aid for future events. Discuss this with your provider prior to the event if they are able to assist you in developing the report.