It wasn’t all that long ago that I came across a serious accident. Two pickup trucks had collided head on at the mouth of a bridge near my rural home, and I knew it would be some time before emergency services arrived. I’m no paramedic, but in some circumstances, you’ve got no choice but to help or watch someone die.

That’s exactly the kind of situation where you’ll want to be familiar with the 4 Life Saving Steps, as taught by the U.S. Marine Corps and a number of other organizations:

  1. Start the breathing
  2. Stop the bleeding
  3. Protect the wound
  4. Treat for shock

When you come across a serious incident (or find yourself amidst one) following this order of operations will give you the best chance at saving someone’s life.

Make sure the person’s airway is clear and that they’re breathing. Then use a tourniquet or pressure to stop their bleeding. Once the bleeding is under control, clean and bandage the wound to protect it from infection. They’re likely going into shock, so lay them flat on the ground, elevate their feet by around 12 inches, and cover them in a blanket. If you have the means, make sure emergency services are on their way.

In subsequent videos we’ll dive into each step a bit more deeply.

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