Monitoring Your Stream Safely

WV Save Our Streams Program does not usually use any type of liability or hold-harmless waiver form. The one provided is an example, but it can be used if the Coordinator decides it's necessary. The primary objectives of the program are to provide education; training and resources volunteers need to carry out a stream monitoring survey. During an independent survey, the safety at the site is the responsibility of the volunteer monitoring group. If the volunteer group fills the need for such forms, they should seek the advice of a trusted legal advisor. However, the program strongly recommends that volunteers develop specific safety preparedness plans and attend safety and first-aid training on a regular basis. At least one person present during the survey should have up-to-date safety and first-aid certification. A standard first aid kit should suffice for most of your medical situations. At a minimum your kit should contain the following items:

  1. Telephone numbers of emergency personnel such as the police and ambulance. (Know the location of the nearest medical facility and the nearest cell-phone signal)
  2. Several different size band-aids for minor cuts.
  3. Antibacterial and/or alcohol wipes.
  4. First-aid cream or ointments.
  5. Triangular bandages and several gauze-pads four-inch squares for deeper cuts.
  6. Acetaminophen for minor pain relief.
  7. A needle and tweezers for removing splinters.
  8. Small scissors or a single-edge razor blade for cutting tape to size.
  9. A two-inch roll of gauze for large cuts (tourniquet).
  10. A large compress bandage to hold dressings in place.
  11. A three-inch wide elastic bandage for sprains and to aid in applying pressure when necessary to slow bleeding.
  12. If participants are allergic to bee stings, include a doctor prescribed antihistamine; make sure all volunteers have their necessary allergy medications prescribed for their specific condition.
  13. Always have emergency telephone numbers, contact person(s) and medical information for all participants in case of emergency.