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St John Ambulance Australia (NSW)

Scouts NSW Division


Scouts' First Aid Team

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Are you Scouting people or are you St John Ambulance people?

We teach our First Aid classes as members of the Scouts NSW Division of St John Ambulance Australia (NSW) Event Health Services. Our Trainers are members of St John Ambulance Australia (NSW), and have undertaken First Aid Training in first aid and training techniques with St John Ambulance's Training Department, leading to their accreditation as Trainers and Assessors. Part of that accreditation also stems from maintaining first aid qualifications in Advanced First Aid or both Advanced Life Support and Remote Area First Aid. The performance of our Trainers is reassessed by St John every year, and they have to meet specified professional development objectives. Incidentally, the level of training our Trainers have undertaken with St John fulfils the requirements within Scouting for them to qualify immediately as Activities Instructors.

The members of the First Aid Team have extensive experience in the Cub Scout, Scout, Venturer, Rover and Activities sections. Some still hold section leadership roles, while others hold Regional Leader (Activities) roles. Several have medical roles and credentials.

The First Aid Team was formed within Sydney North Region in the 1990s, and has grown to encompass three Scouting Regions and has influence beyond. So we have become known as the Scouts' First Aid Team.

Besides teaching First Aid, our Team provides valuable first aid support to Scouting activities, such as Dragon Skin, Scout Hike, and the Sirius Cup Regatta, and to Guiding activities, like those at Glengarry.

Our Scouts' First Aid Team Information sheet (PDF, 13.1kB) is a brief statement of our history, role and objectives, intended to encourage new Leaders to gain and maintain First Aid knowledge and skills through our courses, and then perhaps to join our team. Please assist by making Venturers, Guides, Rovers, Rangers and Leaders aware of the award scheme and service possibilities available in the Scouts' First Aid Team.

2. Where is Barra Brui?

The scheduled classes in Scouting's Sydney North Region are conducted at Barra Brui Scout Hall, off Hunter Avenue, behind Barra Brui Oval, at St Ives. The access to the hall is by a narrow sealed road leaving the south side of Hunter Avenue, St Ives, near a red post box in Hunter Avenue, just west of Yarrabung Road. Access is normally closed by a locked slip rail, but should be open when you arrive to attend a first aid class. Beyond the gateway, the access road travels to the right (south) of a large water main pipe, passes to the right (south) of 2nd St Ives Scout Hall, and continues to a large turning circle and car pack in front of Barra Brui Scout Hall. Inside the hall, proceed through the large front room to The Terry Crawley Training Room, a carpeted room at the rear, for our first aid classes.

Street Directory References:

Gregory's Map 101 Reference K2

UBD Map 175 Reference C2

Google Maps: Barra Brui Scout Hall is on the block south of 15 Hunter Avenue, beyond the Sydney Water easement.

Lat    33deg 44' 35.32" S

Lon  151deg 10' 09.56" E

Public Transport to Barra Brui Scout Hall

Transdev NSW runs buses on Route 582 hourly on Saturdays, two-hourly on Sundays between Gordon Station and St Ives. The nearest bus stop to Barra Brui Scout Hall is just east of Yarrabung Road, St Ives, a 300m walk. For timetable and route information, please check at the Transport NSW web site by entering the route number '582' (without the quotes).

With first arrivals at 0849 on Saturdays and 0835 on Sundays, this service is too late to arrive in time for our courses, but last departure times at 1728 on Saturdays and 1712 on Sundays make the route 582 service a possibility to avoid family members having to make a return trip.

St John sends 'enrolment letters' to those who have booked into first aid classes at Barra Brui, generally about three weeks prior to the classes. These provide further information about class times, what to wear, what to bring, how to find the venue (including a rough map of the access described above), and what may be required to comply with Scouting's E1 (Activity Notification) Form requirements.

3. Where are First Aid classes in South Metropolitan Region held?

The classes are at 4th Kingsgrove Scout Group's Hall at 77a Shaw Street, Kingsgrove, just east of Kingsgrove Railway Station and at the south end of Kookaburra Reserve. There is parking at the Scout Hall via a driveway on the eastern side of Kookaburra Reserve off Shaw Street. The distance of the Scout Hall from the Station is 450m, or a six minute walk. The outdoor components of Remote Area First Aid classes are at bush sites in the vicinity.

Street Directory References:

Gregory's Map 189 Reference B13

UBD Map 273 Reference L10

Google Maps: 77A Shaw Street, Kingsgrove.

Lat    33deg 56' 25.86" S

Lon  151deg 06' 16.05" E

4. Who is entitled to wear the Scout First Aid Badge?

Those currently qualified in Emergency Life Support, Provide First Aid, Remote Area First Aid or Advanced First Aid. For more information, see our First Aid Classes page.

Scout First Aid Badge

5. If I perform first aid in public, surely I can be sued?

We are not legally qualified, and don't set out to give legal advice, but St John has investigated this situation, and these are St John's findings:

Each of Australia's States has enacted legislation to protect those members of the public who, acting in good faith, attempt to relieve the distress of others by rendering first aid. In NSW, the legislation is called the 'Civil Liability Amendment (Personal Responsibility) Bill 2002', and part 8 covers the actions of 'Good Samaritans'.

The responsibility of the first aider depends on whether a duty of care is owed. If so, the first aider must apply first aid skills in a responsible and reasonable manner, by applying just the knowledge and skills gained by first aid training, no more and no less. For negligence to be established against the first aider, all of these things must apply:

  • a duty of care existed between the first aider and the casualty, and

  • the first aider failed to exercise reasonable care and attention in applying first aid, and

  • the casualty suffered additional damage, and

  • the damage resulted from the actions of the first aider.

To avoid being charged with assault:

  • obtain consent, where possible, before applying first aid, but if the casualty is unconscious, consent is implied, and

  • if the casualty is under 18 years, obtain consent from the casualty's parent or guardian, and

  • don't apply first aid if consent is refused.

So, as long as one acts responsibly, there are safeguards to protect the first aider.

Recognising that this is a topic of some apprehension amongst prospective first aiders, St John Ambulance has included this topic in their Provide First Aid course.

Be reassured.

6. A driver has lost control of his car, and the car has become wrapped around a tree.

What are the driver's chances of being rescued?

Surveys by St John Ambulance have found that only 8% of the Australian population have any first aid skills. This percentage is slowly improving. Of the next 12 people to pass by that accident scene, only one, on average, has skills that could help that seriously injured driver. It could be that the driver has struck his head on the steering wheel, and become unconscious. His head has fallen forward in his unconscious state so that his chin is resting on his chest. His airway is blocked. He will die in only a few minutes without help. From your first aid course, you learned about the importance of an open airway, and you carefully raise his head and tie it with a bandage around his forehead back around the head rest. His neck is now in the normal straight position and he can breathe again. You have probably saved his life, a very different scenario to what would have occurred if you had been one of the other eleven instead. By doing a first aid course, you improved his chances of rescue. Bravo-o-o!

First Aid Team Scarf logo


Enquiries about First Aid classes and bookings:
Contact St John Ambulance Australia (NSW)
by calling 02 9745 8888

(or 1300 360 455, if calling from outside
the Sydney Metropolitan Area)
and asking for Scout First Aid courses.

St John Customer Service personnel
will take bookings by telephone between
8:00am and 5:00pm on week days,
and between 8:30am and 1:00 pm on Saturdays.

To complete the emergency contact section of the E1 form,
enter the Chairman of our Team, John Crowley,
as the Emergency Contact.
His mobile telephone number is 0409 393 215.

Enquiries about First Aid support
or other First Aid related matters:

Please telephone The Chairman, John Crowley MStJ,
on 02 9874 4852 or 0409 393 215 (best contact)

First Aid Team Badge logo
First Aid Team Area

(Private: Members Only)

Webmail logo
First Aid Team Webmail

(Private: Members Only)

General Enquiries to the St John
Scouts NSW Division First Aid Team:

Direct emails to:

Written correspondence:
The Chairman
Scouts NSW Division
St John Ambulance Australia (NSW)
PO Box 301

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