Sentinel Handbook

Tips for security, safety, and crime prevention volunteers

Personal Safety

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When you come upon the scene of a situation, be it an accident, a first aid, or a crime in progress, your first duty is to call the proper authorities (usually 911) or directly appoint someone else to do it while you render aid. Never assume you will be able to stop and call 911 while you are actively involved in a situation.

Assess the scene to determine if it is safe for you to render aid. Be aware that some scenes will have hidden dangers that may not be readily apparent to a quick once over, i.e. poisonous gas in a confined space, electrical lines contacting a pool of water, a person being armed, etc. You must maintain an awareness of the scene and your surroundings as they change. You are responsible for your own safety first and foremost.

Remember, you are of no help to anyone by rushing into a situation and becoming a casualty yourself at the same time!

As a helpful person, you will often feel the need to rush into situations immediately, no matter what. DO NOT! Only enter into situations you are trained for and capable of handling. If you do not know an effective means of self-defense or have martial training, stay out of physical interventions. Never enter between combatants to separate them, or pull on one to get them away from another.. EVER! There are hundreds or would-be rescuers (many of them professionals) each year that are DEAD, or injured, because they were attacked by the person they meant to save in the confusion of the moment, or were attacked by the person [they were pulling away from the fight] pulling a weapon suddenly.

If you are not a trained rescue worker, do not place yourself in danger to affect a rescue. Not only could you place yourself in harm’s way, but you can place the victim in further danger through your actions. Free, or reduced priced, training in rescue aid is available, so take advantage of it.  Once you are trained and prepared, you will better understand the dangers of rescue scene situations, and better be able to render immediate assistance.

First aid situations are common, often with blood or other bodily fluids possibly present. Take a basic first aid course so that you know what to do and what to avoid. Do not come into contact with blood that is not your own. The rule to follow is, if it is wet or sticky and it didn’t come from you.. don’t touch it.


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Written by Silver Sentinel

April 6, 2013 at 11:26 pm

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