First Aid & Defibrillators

Automated External Defibrillators (AED) have become a vital piece of equipment in sport clubs, already saving the lives of players, referees, club officials and spectators in football around the world.


In cardiac arrest events, CPR is commenced and an AED is attached to the person’s chest to analyse the heart rhythm to determine if a shock is required to restart it. The AED determines if the person’s heart is in a “shockable rhythm” and if so, the machine delivers a shock to try and return the heart back to a normal rhythm. When the heart is restarted, the person will commence breathing on their own and may even regain consciousness.

Modern AEDs are designed to analyse the heart and only deliver a shock or advise to shock if a shock is required.

Included with most AEDs is a small kit bag containing items such as a razor (to remove chest hair), gloves, face mask for CPR breaths and scissors if the patient’s clothing needs cutting.

Insurance Requirement for Clubs with Defibrillators

The public liability insurer for Football NSW and its affiliates advises that clubs should ensure that a first responder (a person trained in using an AED) is in attendance while games are in progress should the club be required to use the AED.  Click to learn about How to Use an AED

Check your Club Defibrillator

Having a club AED is great, but ensure it will work when you need it.  AEDs are life saving devices and must be ready to use at all times. Clubs must regularly check that the AED Indicator light is on and that the battery or pads have not expired. Clubs must ensure that someone conducts regular recorded checks that the machine is operational.

Can lives be saved by defibrillators?

Yes, lives have been saved in football in Australia and around the world using an AED in conjunction with early and effective CPR!

Getting a Defibrillator for your Club or Team

Having an operational AED on hand significantly increases the chance of survival for people who have a sudden cardiac arrest.

These organisations may assist you with selecting or purchasing an AED, securing a grant or finding out more about AEDs:

Defibrillator Cabinets

Defibrillators can be mounted on a clubhouse or in changerooms on a mounting bracket or in a cabinet.  The type of cabinet required for your club will depend on where the defibrillator will be located, how secure it will be and how accessible you want it to be, as quick access to a defibrillator is vital in an emergency response.


Football Concussion Guidelines

The FA Concussion Guidelines set out the guiding principles for the management of concussion in Football in Australia, excluding the A-League and W-League which have their own policy and protocols.

Concussion Response

Any participant with a suspected concussion should immediately cease playing or training and should not return to playing or training or any other activity until they are assessed by a qualified medical practitioner.

Participants with suspected concussion should:

  • remain in the company of a responsible adult,
  • not be allowed to drive a motor vehicle,
  • be advised to avoid alcohol until they have seen a doctor,
  • check their medications with their doctor.

Specifically, persons with concussion should avoid:

  • aspirin,
  • anti-inflammatories (such as ibuprofen, diclofenac or naproxen),
  • sleeping tablets,
  • sedating pain medications.

Return to Play Protocols

In all cases:

  • No activity for the player for a minimum of 24 hours following the injury.
  • Minimum of 6 days before a player can play a competitive game – if return to play program is managed by a Medical Practitioner.
  • Minimum of 14 days before a player can play a competitive game – if return to play program is not managed by a Medical Practitioner.
  • A clearance by a qualified Medical Practitioner is required by their Club before a player returns to training or playing.

For full Return to Play Program refer to Annexure 1 of the FA  Concussion Guidelines.

Concussion Information and Tools

Further Information

First Aid

At some point every club will be faced with an injury requiring first aid, planning ahead will go a long way to improving how well your club responds.  It is very easy to become complacent if your club has been relatively incident free but having multiple people at your club capable and trained in first aid will make a difference.

Having multiple people trained at your club in first aid or as Sports Trainers improves the standard of care you can provide to your club members and provides flexibility when people are away, so you are not reliant on just 1-2 people. It also increases your confidence as a club to respond effectively to injuries and medical incidents.  In addition, it can reduce costs, by training your own club members you can reduce the need to pay for external providers.

First Aid Requirements

First aid in the workplace

Football Australia First Aid Information

Injury Reporting

If you have been injured contact your club regarding the process for reporting and recording your injury. Clubs should use an injury report form for recording participant injuries. A record of all injuries should be retained by clubs for insurance reference purposes.

Report form templates for clubs:

The Serious Injury Report form is used to report an injury to the FNSW insurers that results in a participant being admitted to hospital.

When to Call an Ambulance – Triple Zero (000)
In urgent medical situations it is most important that you ring Triple Zero (000) and ask for AMBULANCE. Do not panic or drive to hospital yourself. People driving themselves to hospital in urgent medical situations have often come to grief, not only risking further injury to themselves, but also to everyone else on the road.

Examples of medical emergencies:

  • Sudden collapse
  • Unconsciousness
  • Seizures
  • Chest pain
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Neck or spine injuries
  • Injuries to the head or face
  • Fractured bones
  • Uncontrollable bleeding
  • Motor vehicle/cycle accident

NSW Ambulance Posters & Club Resources

NSW Ambulance paramedics are highly trained health professionals. They bring modern emergency and resuscitation equipment to the patient and commence lifesaving treatment at the scene as well as continuing this on the way to hospital.

Who pays for my ambulance bill?

The injured person is responsible for payment of any ambulance bill relating to their injury. The good news is that ‘ambulance’ is a claimable benefit under the FNSW Personal Injury Insurance and in most cases can be reimbursed once a claim has been lodged and a copy of the receipt from NSW Ambulance is provided. For more information go to Football NSW Insurance All claims and benefits are subject to the FNSW Personal Injury policy terms and conditions.

Mental Health

The physical benefits of playing sport are well known. Exercise can build stronger bones and muscles, help manage your weight, lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, and reduce the risks of heart disease. There are also some huge mental health benefits to participation in sport, including to improve your mood, improve your concentration, reduce stress, improve sleep habits, boost your self-confidence, social benefits, learning the value of teamwork, developing leadership skills, learning how to deal with setbacks, and to build resilience.

Visit our Mental Health & Wellbeing webpage for more information

Heart awareness

Players over 35 years of age or returning to the game after a break should visit their GP to have a heart health check prior to the season.