Scene safety, first on sceneAt any given time, a First Responder, (on or off duty) may encounter or witness an RTC.

Rather than being caught out, wondering what to do as a CFR, you firstly need to find out what your Trust policy is.

There are a few scenarios, lets say that your Trust policy is that CFRs are not dispatched to RTCs, this is usually due to training, qualifications and indemnity.

What if you are on duty and encounter/witness an RTC?

It would be prudent to call it in to control, you may be told too stand down. …Why?

If you have no scene safety training (See First on Scene, distance learning course) you may be putting yourself and others in danger. Along side scene safety is scene management  and very few CFRs are qualified.

There is an argurment that casualties could be suffering and in danger whilst you are there with kit and prepared to assist but ordered not to. Yes, this is frustrating. If you are stood down and chose to ignore that command, deciding to face the consequences after the event, that is of course your call.

Supposing control asked you to check casualties and you were hit by a car, one exploded or tipped on you- who would be liable for your injuries? Control would be because they ‘dispatched’ you.

Take another scenario.

You are on duty, you witness/encounter an RTC.

You remove your Trust PPE (hi viz) and I.D. You have in your hand your own first aid kit, not Trust issue kit and you book off.

At that moment in time you are not on duty nor representing the ambulance service but have limited skillset to render first aid after first going through dynamic risk assessment and scene safety…good old ‘D’ for danger in DRAB, you call it in and declare that you are an Off Duty CFR but prepared to book and assist casualties prior to ambulance arrival.

The onus is upon control. As a civilian/off duty CFR you may not be allowed to use CFR kit such as 02 and disposables. You may choose to use kit and defend your actions after the event – you are responsible for your actions knowing you were in breach of your Trusts policy.

There may be the argument that by using Trust kit at an RTC you unofficially put yourself on duty and compromised your Trust’s indemnity.

You must understand your Trust’s rules, policies and procedures right now, so that you know your position.