A first-aider is an adult volunteer who has taken Girl
Scout-approved first-aid and CPR training that includes specific
instructions for child CPR. If, through the American Red Cross,
National Safety Council, EMP America, or American Heart Association,
you have a chance to be fully trained in first-aid and CPR, doing so
may make your activity-planning go a little more smoothly. The Safety
Activity Checkpoints always tell you when a first-aider needs to be
Activities can take place in a variety of locations, which is why first-aid requirements are based on the remoteness of the activity—as noted in the Safety Activity Checkpoints for that activity. For example, it’s possible to do a two-mile hike that has cell phone reception and service along the entire route and EMS (Emergency Medical System) is, at maximum, 30 minutes away at all times. It is also possible to hike more remotely with no cell phone service at a place where EMS would take more than 30 minutes to arrive. It’s important that you or another volunteer with your group has the necessary medical experience (including knowledge of evacuation techniques) to ensure group safety. The levels of first aid required for any activity take into account both how much danger is involved and how remote the area is from emergency medical services. See below:
|Access to EMS||Minimum Level of First Aid Required|
|Less than 30 minutes||First Aid|
|More than 30 minutes||Wilderness First Aid (WFA) or Wilderness First Responder (WFR)*|
*Although a WFR is not required, it is strongly recommended when traveling with groups in areas that are greater than 30 minutes from EMS.
It is important to understand the differences between a first-aid course and a wilderness-rated course. Although standard first-aid training provides basic incident response, wilderness-rated courses include training on remote-assessment skills, as well as the emergency first-aid response, including evacuation techniques, to use when EMS is not readily available.
Note: The presence of a first-aider is required at resident camp. For large events—200 people or more—there should be one first-aider for every 200 participants. The following healthcare providers may also serve as first-aiders: physician, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner, registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, paramedic, military medic, and emergency medical technician.
Make sure a general first-aid kit is available at your group
meeting place and accompanies girls on any activity (including
transportation to and from the activity). Please be aware that you may
need to provide this kit if one is not available at your meeting place.
You can purchase a Girl Scout first-aid kit, you can buy a commercial
kit, or you and the girls can assemble a kit yourselves. The Red Cross
offers a list of potential items in its Anatomy of a First Aid Kit.
(Note that the Red Cross’s suggested list includes aspirin, which you
will not be at liberty to give to girls without direct parent/guardian
permission.) You can also customize a kit to cover your specific needs,
including flares, treatments for frostbite or snake bites, and the
In addition to standard materials, all kits should contain your council and emergency telephone numbers (which you can get from your council contact). Girl Scout activity insurance forms, parent consent forms, and health histories may be included, as well.