First Aid Merit Badge
First Aid Kits Summoning Help Moving Victims
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First Aid merit badge 2A: Explain how you would obtain emergency medical assistance from: your home, on a wilderness camping trip and during an activity on open water
Summoning Help From Home
There are several ways to summon help from home.
  1. Call 911. If the phone is working, this is the best option.
  2. If you have an alarm system, press the emergency button.
  3. If someone in the house has an "emergency button", press the button.
  4. Call the police department, fire department or poison control center directly.
  5. Ask a neighbor for help.
  6. Flag down a passing car and ask for help.
Summoning Help On A Wilderness Camping Trip
There are a number of ways to summon help on a wilderness camping trip.
  1. If anyone has a working cell phone, use it to call 911. Be prepared to give detailed directions to your location.
  2. If anyone has a working radio or satellite phone, use it to call for help. Be prepared to give detailed directions to your location.
  3. Send several people back to the vehicles and have them drive to the nearest phone.
  4. Use three loud noises to signal rescuers (whistle blasts, gunshots, car horns)
  5. Use a signalling mirror to get a low-flying aircraft's attention.
  6. Create an emergency marker:
  7. If you cannot immediately summon help, stay where you are. Rescuers will look for you in your last-known location.
Summoning Help During an Activity on Open Water
Summoning help on the open water can be difficult if the boat cannot return to a port.
  1. If the boat has an EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon), activate it.
  2. If the boat has a radio, call for help on the emergency frequency.
  3. If anyone has a working cell phone or satellite phone, use it to call for help.
  4. If the boat can still navigate, move it into busy traffic where you can signal for help.
  5. If the boat has a flag, fly it upside-down.
  6. Make the boat appear to be in obvious distress to attract an aircraft's attention. For example, place the sail or debris in the water.
  7. Use a signalling mirror to attract attention from a low-flying aircraft or the shore.
  8. Devise a smoke signal (a smoke flare or a very small smoky fire) only when rescuers are visible.
  9. Use a flare only at night and only when rescuers are nearby.
  10. DO NOT attempt to swim to shore.


©2005 Sam Clippinger / samc (at) troop50 (dot) org
Last updated: 12/9/2005