Why is Forestry Commission First Aid (+F) Different?

In this blog, we look at the differences between standard and forestry commission first aid.

Read below to see how they differ, why they differ, and decide which course you need.

What is the difference between standard & forestry first aid?

The Forestry Commission recommends those who work in Forestry gain a first aid certificate, which includes additional topics relevant to the risks and nature of their work. The Forestry element often called +F, appears after the main course title. For example, Emergency First Aid at Work +F.

See how the content differs between the standard and forestry first aid.

Emergency First Aid at Work Emergency First Aid at Work +F 
  • Role and Responsibilities
  • Assessing an Incident
  • Unresponsive Casualties
  • Choking
  • External Bleeding
  • Shock
  • Minor Injuries
  • Role and Responsibilities
  • Assessing an Incident
  • Unresponsive Casualties
  • Choking
  • External Bleeding
  • Shock
  • Minor Injuries
  • Emergency Planning & Remote Medical Help
  • Catastrophic Bleeds
  • Crush Injuries
  • Extreme Cold (Hypothermia)
  • Lyme Disease

As well as the additional content, forestry first aid differs in the decision-making process because of the working environment. In an office, for example, serious first aid incidents usually involve managing the casualty and waiting for help. However, remote forestry locations require a greater number of decisions from the first aider. For example,

  • Should you move the casualty because of bad weather?
  • Should you move the casualty on your own or await rescue?
  • Can this casualty get to a better location, or will this aggravate their condition?

These types of decisions depend on their illness or injury. The weather and resources available also have an impact.

Why did forestry become a specialist first aid course?

Forestry first aid became a specialist course because of the jobs having a high risk of serious accidents.

The heavy machinery and remote locations of forestry work can cause serious injuries, so first aiders need to training in these scenarios. Remote locations also mean casualties are further from medical help and will require care for longer periods of time.

The HSE recognised the need for specialist forestry first aid and has developed courses to suit these risks. All these courses must cover high-risk injuries, along with the need for longer casualty care.

emergency first aid for forestry

Why does forestry commission first aid differ?

Standard first aid courses work from the emergency guidelines, which assume a fairly swift ambulance response. However, the forestry industry has employees working in remote areas with little or no communication. This often means the emergency response times will be longer, and first aiders must therefore be able to care for casualties during this time.

Forestry workers are also working in an outdoor environment, which brings its own hazards. A huge risk to casualties is that of hypothermia. So, the forestry first aid covers the importance of insulating casualties from the ground to prevent their condition from worsening. Other hazards in this environment include animals, ticks (Lyme disease), weather & the terrain.

These forestry first aid courses also look at communication with the emergency services. First Aiders can help by providing detailed information of the incident. This includes injuries, location, weather and site access. The emergency services can then create a plan of action.

What are the differences in certification?

With our forestry first aid course, candidates receive two certificates. One for the standard emergency first aid at work and one for the specific forestry first aid element.

Should you ever change roles in the future, you will still hold the relevant knowledge and national standard certification.

Find our upcoming course dates for your emergency first aid course here


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