Find your location with no map
First Aid is not just about the obvious, that is doing the first aid, but it’s also about getting the emergency services to you because your casualty needs professional medical help.
How do you get the services to you if you’re not sure where you are, be it on a remote country road or in the mountains or on a coastal path without an OS (Ordinance Survey) map. The 999 call handler will ask you for your postcode and house number which you can’t give as you don’t have one for your location.
This will give you know how of how to deal with this as best you can.
How to find out where you are
There is great phone app called ‘OS Locate’, when you open it, it will give you your OS six figure grid reference, or if you go into the ‘about’ menu and then ‘settings’ you can switch the co-ordinates to Lat/Long (Latitude and Longitude). If you’re in an area where you need Mountain Rescue or Coastal Rescue, give them the grid reference of if your on a country lane or similar and it’s the ambulance then Lat/Long is the one to use. As well as the co-ordinates, always give a visual description of what you can see around you, for example your stood next to a lake or an quarry.
This is what the OS Locate icon looks like.
Once open OS Locate looks like this, the grid reference you would give Mountain Rescue in this instance is SH754,769
Write it down
Your First Aid kit should not only contain the usual items, but also a pencil and paper, this really comes into it’s own when writing down your co-ordinates and even information to do with the injured person (eg signs and symptoms, breathing rate and quality). If you don’t have a phone signal you will need to put the injured person in safe airway position (recovery position) and leave them for a few minutes to walk around to try get a phone signal. When walking around your Co-ordinates will change, so write down the Co-ordinates of where the injured person is before you leave them.
Remember who to ask for
If you’re anywhere where an ambulance can drive to you, call 999 and ask for ‘Ambulance’ if you’re off the beaten track then you’d still call 999 but now you’d ask for Police, who would take the details and they’d get in touch with Mountain Rescue if you’re in the mountains or Coast Guard/Coastal Rescue Team if on the coast.
Another useful article is how to contact 999 with no phone signal or a bad phone signal, click here to read it.