Information for First Aiders

As a qualified First Aider, you need to read the First Aid policy.  This outlines the definition of First Aid, the types of First Aid training we provide at the University, and most importantly your role and responsibilities as well as other roles and responsibilities connected to First Aid across the University.

Talk to your First Aid Co-ordinator as soon as you have completed your First Aid course and they will go through the policy and your role with you.

Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) at UoB

An AED is a small electronic device designed for anyone to provide lifesaving defibrillation (electric shock to the heart to reset the natural heart rhythm) to victims of a sudden cardiac arrest.  A cardiac arrest is when the heart has stopped beating and without the quick intervention of emergency first aid, the casualty will not survive.  AEDs are most effective when used with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) whilst awaiting the arrival of paramedics.

In the event of use, all AEDs provide clear audible instructions, to follow, on how to operate it.  You can also access a learning resource on using an AED via an app developed by The Resuscitation Council UK

Public Access AEDs (PAD)

  • PAD are located externally in areas where any member of the public can access them

  • They are designed to be used by anyone and instructions are detailed on the cabinet containing the AED

Location of PAD on UoB campus:

Printable map of Public Access AEDs on campus.

Mobile AEDs

Two mobile Security vans carry AEDs, which are available 24 hours a day. Call 43000. 

Where AEDs are located within buildings on the Edgbaston campus

Please note access may be restricted in buildings due to their operating hours or required swipe entry. Please enquire about local arrangements. 

Location of AEDs in buildings:

  • Main Library – Ground floor first aid room

  • The Medical School – Main reception on the wall

  • The Education Building - Ground floor, main foyer.

  • SPORTEX – 2nd floor by the gents’ toilets

  • University Sport and Fitness:

    Lower ground floor, pool timing office

    Ground floor, reception

    First floor, gym office

    Second floor, performance centre reception

  • Aston Webb - main reception desk

  • Chemical Engineering - reception area G23

  • Elms Road Computer Centre G5 - ground floor, reception

  • Winterbourne - shop behind the reception desk 

  • Edgbaston Park Hotel - behind the reception desk

Location of AEDs off Edgbaston campus

  • High Temperature Research Centre - on wall main entrance

  • The Raymond Priestley Centre, Coniston 

  • All University-run nurseries - on wall main entrance

  • Fire Station, Bristol Road, opposite Beech House

  • ORLC, Selly Oak Campus - security office

Management of University AEDs

AEDs need to be checked regularly to confirm they are ready for use and that the consumables (defibrillator pads and battery) do not require replacing.  Each AED has a responsible person allocated to do these checks and Guidance on maintenance and replacement of AED consumables should be followed when doing so.

Public Liability Insurance Cover for First Aiders

All University staff who are qualified as first aiders and have attended a University of Birmingham First Aid at Work course, are indemnified under the University Public Liability insurance policy when administering first aid during the course of their daily duties, or during their lunch break, or journey into or from work.

Transport to Hospital other than by ambulance

If an ambulance is not required but the casualty is in need of assessment at the nearest Accident and Emergency department a taxi will be provided.  The FAW/EFAW accompanies the casualty in this instance. Private cars should not be used.

Controlling the Risk of infection transmission

First aiders should wear personal protective equipment (PPE) when providing first aid to a casualty.  The PPE provided is:

  • Single use gloves
  • Single use Apron
  • Single use Surgical facemask (IIR)
  • Personal portable bottle of hand sanitiser

The above items are currently available from Security Services Reception.

Spillage kits should also be available in the event of needing to clean up the area following a first aid incident.  For significant spillages Cleaning Services should be contacted to disinfect the area thoroughly

Additional precautions due to potential Covid-19 transmission

Do not provide first aid to others if you were asked to shield by the NHS or have symptoms of Covid-19.

Before providing assistance to another person, ask them if they have travelled within the past 14 days and/or have experienced any of the following symptoms:

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Flu like symptoms
  • Shortness of breath

Guidance on changes to standard first aid procedures

All first aid interventions during the Covid-19 pandemic
  • Direct the person to an area away from others and ensure other people in the area, remain at least 2 metres away from the individual. You should also keep 2 metres distance from the person as much as possible and avoid close or physical contact with them
  • Ensure you are wearing PPE ie disposable gloves, disposable apron and a water resistant surgical mask. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water or use alcohol gel if hand wash facilities are not nearby, before putting on and removing all PPE 
  • If the injury can be dealt with by the person themselves, eg minor cuts, then provide instructions on the actions they should take and provide any relevant first aid materials for them to self-administer, such as plasters, eye wash, etc whilst maintaining a 2 metre distance 
  • If the injury cannot be dealt with by the person themselves, where possible, position the injured position to face away from the first aider whilst treatment is being administered 
  • If unsure on how to proceed, call NHS 111 for further advice 
  • Double bag used PPE and first aid materials in yellow clinical waste bags, label and tie securely 
  • After assisting the person, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water at the earliest opportunity. Alcohol hand gel is recommended if soap and water is not available 
  • Avoid touching your mouth, eyes or nose 
  • Contact Cleaning Services, to arrange cleaning and disinfection of the area if there a risk of infection 
The casualty has suspected/symptoms of Covid-19

In addition to the above, ensure the person has a cloth/ face covering to cover their mouth and nose if coughing and sneezing. If you do not need to provide physical aid to the person, help them by calling NHS 111 who will provide instructions on the next steps.

Serious first aid incidents and medical emergencies

Call 999 if there is a serious first aid incident or medical emergency. Inform the call handler if Covid-19 is suspected and call Security Services control room on extension 43000 (0121 414 3000) detailing the precise location of the casualty.

Administering CPR/use of AED
  • If Covid-19 is suspected, inform the call handler when you call 999 
  • If there is a perceived risk of infection, place a cloth/face covering over the person’s mouth and nose and undertake compression only CPR 
  • After performing compression only CPR/using AED, you should also seek advice from the NHS 111 coronavirus advice service or medical adviser 
  • Keep the area clear of people and contact Cleaning Services to arrange cleaning and disinfection 
Disposing of used PPE and potentially contaminated waste  
  • Put in a yellow plastic bag and tie, then put in a second yellow bag and tie 
  • Affix a label detailing the name of the first aider, the department and the date 
  • Dispose of the clinical waste in a clinical waste bin. If you do not have access to a clinical waste bin, deposit the clinical waste in the clinical waste bin in the car park at 13 Pritchatts Road. The key for it is available from Security Services

Blood-borne viruses

Blood-borne viruses (BBV) are viruses that some people carry in their blood and which may cause severe disease in certain people and few or no symptoms in others.  The virus can spread to another person, whether the carrier of the virus is ill or not.

Blood-borne viruses of concern for First Aiders are Hepatitis B, C and HIV.  However, the risk of being infected with a BBV while carrying out first aid is small. 

The following precautions can be taken to reduce the risk of infection:

  • cover any cuts or grazes on your skin with a waterproof dressing
  • wear suitable disposable gloves when dealing with blood or any other body fluids
  • use suitable eye protection and a disposable plastic apron where splashing is possible
  • use a resusciaid when you give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, but only if you have been trained in its use
  • wash your hands after each procedure

Hepatitis B immunisation

University first aiders are offered protection against Hepatitis B, free of charge by the University Occupational Health Unit.

The immunisation consists of a series of three injections, given in the muscle of the upper arm, over a period of three months.  Six to eight weeks after the completion of the course a blood sample is taken to test the immunity level. If a satisfactory level of immunity is achieved, no further doses are required.  If you would like to take up this offer or discuss the matter further, please contact to arrange an appointment.

Useful links

Specific injuries and incidents


Professional Services