Bonfire Night - be prepared to help in a firework first aid emergency

St John Ambulance is urging people to learn basic first aid skills ahead of Bonfire Night celebrations.

Its volunteers will be attending firework events but injuries are more likely to occur at private parties where trained volunteers won’t be on hand to help, said a spokesman.

He added: “Statistics show that thousands of people will visit A&E every year for treatment of a firework-related injury. But with some basic first aid skills, everyone can be prepared to help in a firework first aid emergency.”

Elizabeth Harper, regional director for London and South at St John Ambulance, said: “Every year, our highly-skilled volunteers are asked to provide first aid cover for members of the public who want to celebrate Bonfire Night at major events in their communities.

“Attendees at these events can be reassured that help is on hand if they need it.

“However, we also want to provide families having bonfire parties at home with a few handy tips so that they can deal with minor injuries should they unfortunately occur.”

Burns or scalds

• Move the person away from the heat

• Place the burn or scald under cool running water for 10 minutes minimum

• If the burn is to a child, larger than your hand, on the face, hands or feet, or is a deep burn, call 999

• Remove jewellery and clothing around the area, unless stuck to the burn

• Cover the burn loosely, lengthways with kitchen film to prevent infection

• Don’t burst blisters

• Tell them to seek medical advice.

See also:

Debris in the eye

• Tell them not to rub it, so they don’t make it worse

• Pour clean water over their eye to wash out what’s in there and/or to cool the burn

• If this doesn’t work, try to lift the debris out with a damp corner of a clean tissue

• If this doesn’t work either, don’t touch anything that’s stuck in their eye – cover it with a clean dressing or non-fluffy material

• Then take or send them straight to hospital.

Smoke inhalation

• Move them away from the smoke so they can breathe in some fresh air

• Help them sit down in a comfortable position and loosen any tight clothing around their neck to help them breathe normally

• If they don’t recover quickly, call 999/112 for an ambulance.

The St John Ambulance app is available free at