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Byron Shire
February 27, 2021

First aid and insurance

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I was certainly grateful to the kind gentleman at Greenmount Surf Club who assisted us with my seven-year-old daughter’s cut foot the other day.

She’d cut her foot on some broken glass along the footpath between Rainbow and Greenmount; blood dripping from her foot was enough to make my daughter faint, which made things a little more dramatic than we expected.

The nearest place we thought to ask for help was Greenmount Surf Club, so my husband carried her (unconscious at first) ahead, while I wrangled with two bikes and our three-year-old (thanks also to the kind lady who helped here) to catch up.

Seeing the door open at their first-aid room at the club, we approached, only to be told that it was off season and that they weren’t covered by insurance to help us and that we should hike down the beach to see the lifeguards.

I will admit to saying a few loud expletives as we went in search of a tap to clean off my daughter’s foot and get a look at what the damage was. We found one a bit further along and cleaned it off, now we could see the cut was pretty clean and not too bad, and by now Zoe had regained consciousness (with dad still carrying her).

We had just wanted some clean water to check out her cut foot, and maybe a band-aid. Meanwhile, the wife of the gentleman in the first aid room approached us and offered to take us down to the lifeguards on one of the buggies; if that was what it took to get a bandage on her foot, okay.

We carried Zoe back to the club. By now the gentleman had had second thoughts and offered to give it a clean in the first-aid room anyway. He kindly cleaned it and wrapped it up for her, and then we sat her on a chair while we waited for dad to return with the car (parked back in Kirra as chance would have it).

While we have immense respect and gratitude for all of our local clubs and their members, this needs to be flagged as a ‘What the?’. Insurance and risk assessment certainly does have its place, but it can go a little too far

Kelli Davidson
Bilambil Heights



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  1. Not sure who advised the first aiders that they could not administer first aid because of “insurance” issues, but they are wrong. Any person can assist others in distress with their consent and as long as the act is done in good faith and not with “reckless indifference” without fear of legal action under the respective state legislation. In Qld the Civil Liability (Good Samaritan) Act, applies, and most states have similar legislation. Of course people are under no obligation to assist those in trouble for whatever reason, but that has nothing to do with “insurance”.


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