When we deliver our First Aid Courses we receive a lot of great questions. One of the most common questions asked during the training session is “Can I be successfully sued if I provide first aid"?

A ‘Good Samaritan’ is defined in legislation as a person acting without expecting financial or other reward for providing assistance. First aiders should not be concerned about being sued if they come to the aid of a fellow human in need as long as they do not act recklessly and try to avoid further harm. Most Australian states and territories have some form of Good Samaritan protection. In general this legislation offers protection if care delivered by the First Aider is made in good faith. This protects a normal first aider responding to a person who requires first aid.

If a first aider decides to provide assistance to a person in need, they must provide a standard of care appropriate to their training (or lack of training) and never go beyond their own skills and limitations.

They must act in ‘good faith’, without recklessness and with reasonable care and skill.

First aid must be provided in accordance with first aid principles, making the casualty as comfortable as possible using available resources and equipment. First aid equipment used must be operated according to manufacturer’s instructions. The first aider should stay with the casualty unless it is necessary to leave to call for medical assistance, a rescuer of equal or higher ability takes over, or continuing to give aid becomes unsafe.

As a result first aiders can be comfortable and provide a first aid response without the fear of a successful ligation case by following accepted first aid principles and practices. Their actions would be judged against what a similar response would have been by how someone with the same level of training would have provided.


Obviously if you are charging for your First Aid services such as your presence at a Sporting or Social event there are greater responsibilities for your response and actions than a person who has completed a first aid course and has come across an emergency situation.

Examples of fee for service can be attending a first aid event, providing first aiders as part of your business.


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