1. Program all police, fire and rescue numbers that may provide service to your location into your cell phone and activate the GPS function in your cell. Keep a list of important numbers handy by landlines. There are times when 911 may not be available.
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2. If someone has advanced first-aid or medical training, defer to their advanced knowledge in an emergency.
3. Don’t try to move someone who may have broken bones or back injuries. Any movement may increase the level of damage. Unless the injured individual is in imminent danger—in a burning house or vehicle, for example—wait for help to arrive.
4. Keep a well-stocked first-aid kit within easy reach and check several times a year to be sure that all equipment has been restocked.
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5. Before transporting a patient, locate a facility that offers the level of care the injured person needs. Many small town hospitals don’t have doctors trained to treat traumatic injuries or other life-threatening problems. In acute emergencies, minutes count and the wrong hospital could make the difference between life and death.
6. If someone is obviously unnerved by the situation, give them a specific job. If the individual is too overcome, get them away from the accident scene. If possible, send someone along to monitor the individual’s condition.
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This article was originally published in the AMERICAN FRONTIERSMAN™ Winter 2016 issue #205. Subscription is available in print and digital editions here.