• If you see someone that appears to be trouble, remain calm, ask if they need help, and if it is ok to touch them. If the person is in an unsafe location get them to safety.
• In a situation that requires First Aid of any kind always radio for your coordinator and a golf cart to your location using the call “Coordinator Check”. Using the call “Coordinator Check” specifies to the coordinator that there is an emergency that requires immediate response.
• The coordinator will report to the Operations Manager who will report to the CEO and President.
• First aid kits are located in: Volunteer Sign In, Food Prep, Gift Shop, Main Office, Provisions Outpost, Hospital, Lion’s Lair, Intern Houses and the Kitten Cabana.
• First aid kits are stocked by Big Cat Rescue. Personal medications should not be stored in the First Aid Kits. Emergency medications such as epi pens should be carried on your person. All other medication should be kept in your bag or vehicle.
• One AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) is located in the Gift Shop office in a large metal cabinet to right of the volunteer bathroom. The AED and other needed medical supplies (one-way CPR air masks) are together in a black duffle bag. This entire bag should be brought to the scene if requested. A second AED is located in the Staff Offices by Nikita lioness on the bottom shelf of the cabinet right inside the door.
• An AED (Automated External Defibrillator) is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses the life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias of ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia in a patient, and is able to treat them through defibrillation, the application of electrical therapy which stops the arrhythmia, allowing the heart to reestablish an effective rhythm.
• Use gloves when assisting someone who is bleeding or vomiting.
• Wash hands before giving first aid if you can, but definitely after.
• The Good Samaritan Act covers you for helping someone prior to medical help arriving when acting within your scope of training.
HEAT RELATED ILLNESS
• Encourage guests to purchase water and to stay hydrated before the start of the tour on hot days. Volunteers should always carry water during the warmer months.
• Tour Guides and Back Ups must observe guests at all times for signs of heat illness.
• Volunteers who are working or cleaning, must also observe each other.
• Early symptoms include; cool moist, pale or flushed skin, headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness exhaustion or sweating heavily.
• Late symptoms of heat illness include; red, hot, dry skin, loss of consciousness and vomiting.
• Do not wait until you are thirsty to drink. Thirst is the first sign of dehydration. Drink fluids often and stay hydrated.
• If guest/volunteer is suffering from heat illness: you should call for your coordinator and a golf cart to your location, then move the person to a shady spot, assist them to the ground, loosen tight clothing, and fan the person until help arrives.
• Once the golf cart arrives, assist the person on to the cart (have someone hold on to the person to ensure they do not fall of the cart if they pass out) and take the them to an air conditioned building such as the Cool Cat Cave or the Gift Shop.
• Offer water first, Gatorade second only if person is responsive. Both can be found in the Cool Cat Cave and in the Gift Shop. Be sure the person drinks slowly.
• Ask the person when they last ate, or if they are diabetic.
• Apply a cool compress (frozen water in volunteer sign-in, Cool Cat Cave and Gift Shop) to pulse points. Do not put the ice directly on the skin. Put wet paper towels between ice pack and skin and apply to (wrists, neck, armpits, behind the knees). It is vital to cool the person down quickly.
• If the person refuses water, the skin is red, hot and dry, their level of consciousness keeps changing or they start vomiting – sign of heat stroke – the coordinator will call for an ambulance.
• Place the person on their side, continue to cool with compress and monitor their breathing and pulse until emergency help arrives.
LOSS OF CONSCIOUSNESS
• If a guest/volunteer loses consciousness: you should call for your coordinator and a golf cart to your location using the call “Coordinator Check”, check for a pulse (carotid artery in neck) and check to see if the person is breathing or otherwise moving.
• If the person has a pulse and is breathing, ensure they are in a safe location and wait for your coordinator to arrive.
• The AED machine should only be used if the person does not have a pulse and is not breathing. If you encounter someone in this condition; you should call for your coordinator using the call “Coordinator Check” (your coordinator will call 911), the AED should be retrieved by one person while another person begins CPR (if trained). Once the AED arrives, turn it on and follow the verbal prompts.
• All staff/volunteers should be current (within 7-10 years) with Tetanus shots unless contraindicated (allergy). If you don’t remember when you had one, get one.
• If a guest/volunteer is wounded: Check the scene for safety, call for your coordinator using the call “Coordinator Check” and a golf cart (if needed) to your location, then move the person to a safe location.
• Once the golf cart arrives, assist the the person on to the cart and take to a building with a First Aid Kit; Gift Shop, Cool Cat Cave, Provision Outpost, Main Office, Food Prep, Hospital, Volunteer Sign-In and the Lion’s Lair.
• To prevent the transmission of disease; wear gloves and do not touch your mouth, eyes or nose with contaminated hands/gloves.
• Clean the wound well with fresh warm soapy water or hydrogen peroxide. Work from the center
of the wound towards the outside of the wound to avoid moving dirt into the wound.
• Cover the wound with a clean bandage or cloth. Apply antibiotic ointment after asking about
allergies to such medication.
• Wear gloves and apply direct pressure to a bleeding wound with a sterile gauze pad. Do not
apply a tourniquet. If the dressing becomes soaked with blood, do not remove it. Apply
additional dressing on top.
• Elevate the wounded area above heart level if possible. (If you do not suspect broken bones)
• Cover gauze dressings with a roller bandage to maintain pressure.
• The coordinator will determine if an ambulance should be called, or if the person can be
transported to the ER by staff.
• If an ER visit is required, staff and volunteers will be taken to the ER by a BCR staff member.
• Have the person lean slightly forward.
• Pinch the nostrils together for about 10 minutes.
• Apply an ice pack to the bridge of the nose.
• If bleeding does not stop, apply pressure on upper lip just beneath the nose.
Severed Body Parts:
• The coordinator will call 911.
• Wrap the severed body part in sterile gauze or clean cloth.
• Place the severed part in a plastic bag.
• Put the plastic bag in ice cold water and take to the hospital or send in ambulance with the
• Control bleeding by applying direct pressure to the wound. Raise the injured area. If the
bleeding continues, recheck the source of the bleeding and reapply direct pressure, with help
from someone who is not tired. If the person has life-threatening bleeding, a tight bandage or
tourniquet will be easier to use than direct pressure on the wound. However, using a tight
bandage for a long time may do more harm than good.
• Keep the patient warm.
• Take steps to prevent shock. Lay the person flat, raise the feet about 12 inches, and cover the
person with a coat or blanket. Do NOT place the person in this position if a head, neck, back, or
leg injury is suspected or if it makes the victim uncomfortable.
• The coordinator will call 911.
• Do not remove the object.
• Bandage bulky dressings around the object to support the object in place.
• Bandage the dressing in place.
BITES AND STINGS
• Insect repellant is kept in most of the buildings and in the tour waiting yard.
• If you know you have a severe allergy. Carry your EPI Pen with you at all times. EPI Pens are not stocked in the First Aid Kids. Notify the coordinator if you carry an EPI pen and let them know where you keep it.
• Biting and stinging insects and such common to Florida include; sand flies, chiggers, horse flies, deer flies, fleas, ticks, mites, mosquitoes, wasps, bees, fire ants, and catterpillars.
• Florida is home to; 2 species of venomous spiders – Widows and Recluse and 6 species of venomous snakes – Southern Copperhead, Water Moccasin, Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake, Timber Rattlesnake, Pigmy Rattler, and the Eastern Coral Snake.
• Symptoms of an insect bite include; stinger present in skin, pain, swelling, and possible allergic
• Remove the stinger with a pair of tweezers or scrape away with a stiff card. Rinse tweezers off
before and after using with either warm soapy water or hydrogen peroxide.
• Wash the wound, cover, apply a cold pack and watch for signals of allergic reaction.
• To stop itching and stinging from an insect bite, sprinkle a little Accent powder (yes the one
used for cooking) on a moistened gauze and apply to the bite. Accent is located in the gift shop
and in food prep near the First Aid Kits. Try to avoid scratching the bite.
• If bitten by a spider, try to remember as many details as possible of what it looks like. Do not try
to catch the spider.
• Symptoms of spider bite include; bite mark, swelling, pain, nausea, vomiting,
difficulty breathing or swallowing.
• Wash the wound, apply a cold pack and seek medical attention to receive antivenom.
• If bitten by a snake, try to remember as many details as possible of what it looks like. Do not try
to catch the snake.
• Symptoms of a snake bite include; bite mark, swelling, and pain.
• Wash the wound, keep bitten area still and lower than the heart.
• Call 911 for medical attention.
• If a tick is found, grasp the tick with fine-tipped tweezers close to the skin and pull slowly to
ensure the head does not break apart from the body and remain in the skin.
• If the mouth parts remain imbedded in the skin, get medical care.
• Wash the bite area with soap and water and apply an antibiotic ointment.
• The telltale sign of Lyme’s disease is a Red Bull’s-eye on the skin.
• Lyme’s disease responds better with an early diagnosis. See your doctor if you think you have
been bitten by a tick and are at risk.
• Allergic reactions to certain foods and bee stings can cause severe swelling of the face and air passages restricting breathing.
• Symptoms of an allergic reaction include; difficulty breathing, feeling of tightness in the ches and throat, swelling of the face, neck, and tongue, rash, hives, dizziness, or confusion
• Benadryl is available in all First Aid Kits. This medication will decrease a minor allergic reaction. It will make you sleepy so avoid taking it if you have a long drive home. It is also not recommended to continue with your volunteer time for the day after having taken Benadryl.
• If a person has a major allergic reaction 911 should be called.
• People who know they have allergies may carry an EPI pen with them.
• Poisonous plants common to Florida found at the sanctuary that cause skin irritation include; Poison Ivy, Brazilian Pepper, Croton, Elephant Ears, Philodendron and Oleander.
• Poison Ivy, especially, causes acute symptoms in 50% of people, including severe skin redness, itching, swelling, and blisters following direct or indirect contact.
• If exposure to Poison Ivy is suspected clean the area as soon as possible with cool water and soap to remove the oils from the plant. Do not use hot water as this will open your pores allowing for the oil to seep in.
• Minor cases of Poison Ivy Rash can be treated with over the counter lotions. These are available in the First Aid Kits as well
• Major cases of Poison Ivy Rash may require medical attention and specific medications.
STRAINS AND SPRAINS
C: Compress – Ace wraps are available in the First Aid Kit in the gift shop.
• Ice can be used to decrease swelling. Ice should be applied to the affected area for 20 minutes then removed for 20 minutes. This cycle should be repeated as needed. Do not apply heat to the area for the first 24 hours.
SUDDEN ILLNESS: Seizure, Diabetes, etc
• Seizure – clear area to keep the person from injury. Do not try to hold down or put anything in the
person’s mouth. Turn onto left side when seizure is over to prevent aspiration of vomit.
• Diabetes – a sharp drop in blood sugar levels can manifest as sweaty, shaky, confused, sometimes belligerent – give fruit juice, coke(not diet), or candy. Guest/volunteer will usually have something with them. There is water, Gatoraid, and snacks for emergency purposes in the Gift Shop.
Symptoms of a Stroke include; loss of movement and/or sensation to one side of body, facial droop, confusion, vomiting, loss of consciousness. If the person is unconscious, does not have a pulse, or is not breathing; Call for your coordinator (the coordinator will call 911), have someone retrieve the AED, and begin CPR (if trained)
AMBULANCE, WALK-IN CLINIC, EMERGENCY ROOM
Ambulances should only be called for in a true emergency, for all other non-serious injuries or illnesses that can not be treated onsite the person should be taken to a walk-in clinic or hospital. Volunteers should be taken to the walk-in clinic or hospital by a staff member. Instances when 911 will be called – heart attack, stroke, drowning, loss of limb, hemorrhage, uncontrollable bleeding, and venomous snake bite.
Special Note: It is preferable that if a volunteer, intern, or staff member need to go to the walk-in clinic or emergency room they should change into a non-BCR shirt prior to going. It is a good idea to keep a clean non-BCR shirt in your car or with your belongings for such an occasion.
QUALIFIED TEACHERS FOR THIS CLASS ARE:
BethAnn.Bluder@BigCatRescue.org, Diana.Rao@BigCatRescue.org, Meredith.Pennino@BigCatRescue.org, Pamela.Rodriquez@BigCatRescue.org, Sue.Reed@BigCatRescue.org
QUIZ AT LINK