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Chain of Freedom Scotland logo 2023Chain of Freedom – Scotland

FIRST-AID BRIEFING FOR Chain of Freedom Scotland

Saturday 14th October

A day for the history books

FIRST AIDERS AND STEWARDS are BOTH equally essential to the success of any event.

You are the vital link between participants of the Event, the link Point of Contact, Section Manager, Head Steward, and Police/PLO team.


Thank you for volunteering to help today.


To ensure communication throughout the entire “Chain”; which will enable everyone to stay safe and provide assistance if required – the following protocols will be put in place for Chain of Freedom Scotland.


  • There will be several Volunteer Stewards close by you at all times within the static event links.
  • Each link is app less then .8 of a kilometre. 
  • Everyone is requested to walk, in a safe manner – in single file – until that link is adequately populated. 
  • Stewards will be issued with a list of approved numbers of other stewards AND FIRST AIDERS within their link, so they have nearest contacts.
  • They will also have a list of Police, PoIice liaison officers and Emergency in the event of any assistance needed. 
  • Please escalate to Head Steward and Event Manager if any concerns are raised. 
  • Within your link you will have several stewards and a police presence if required. 


We also have a Lost Child Policy which will be circulated pre-event.


We have 4 First Aid / Lost Child Rendezvous points situated over the length of the Chain.

They will be at 


1A access            Bowling Harbour G60 5AF

3A access            Lochburn Rd G20 9AE

5A access            B8023 G65 9SG

6F access            Ochiltree Terrace  FK1 4LS.


Head Steward, First Aid Support & Event Manager, along with Police Scotland and Local Authority police liaison officers’ numbers will be circulated prior to the event. 


There will also be a list of local emergency services. 

Please write down your SECTION, LINK & POST CODE – these are essential in the event of an emergency. 


First Aiders and Stewards will be briefed in escalating any occurrence. 

  • First Aiders will have experience in being on call either at their workplace or under volunteering posts.
  • Having years of experience and knowledge of March and Rally’s very few times has there been a
  • Senior Stewardswill be responsible for a team of Stewards spread out along the length of the link.
  • The Senior Stewardswill be located at the middle of your section of the link.
  • Enabling a network of users.

Please listen to instructions from your First Aid coordinator about where you or your team will be placed. This is to ensure that all participants have a first aider, and several Stewards close by at all times – should they require assistance.


You will have access to each Lead Steward and stewards through a group “Messenger” or alternative with prior consultation.


This method of contact, throughout the Chain, will enable everyone to be more contactable, if needed.


This has proven to be more coherent with the noise levels.

When you are placed into your team a group “Messenger” will be set up so you are in direct contact with each other.


The Head Steward will also be in each group so they are aware of / if any situation.


We have volunteer First Aiders and Stewards available to assist with any medical situations arising. Their numbers will be logged into each “Messenger” group.


There will be app two First Aiders in each link. 

Stewards nor First Aiders are not required to assist with carrying banners or pushing wheelchairs unless you are asked to do so by either a Head Steward or a Senior Steward.

Responsibilities are as follows

  1. To ensure that all participants are safely walking in a single file to their static stance.
    1. ** note – the canal path will remain to be a public pathway. Once static we must ensure all participants will be mindful of other users throughout the duration.
  1. To identify any arising situations or individuals who are deliberately causing confrontation or trouble. If a situation does arise you should contact your Senior Steward immediately, they will then liaise with the Head Stewards, Police and Police Liaison Officers and First Aid coordinator who will escalate to emergency services.
  2. Should there be any conflict or counter demonstrations please do not engage. Remain calm and escalate to Lead Steward, Head Steward and Police Scotland. Scottish Canals policy and Procedure is to escalate immediately to police – you will have a contact number.
  3. We have been advised that Police Scotland will also be on cycles throughout the event to ensure quick response times.
  4. Remain in a calm non – confrontational manner. If you require assistance with this please contact your Section lead Steward.
  5. Alcohol and Drugs are not permitted at any time during the Chain of Freedom Scotland event. Report to your Senior Steward. This will be considered as a police matter.
  6. In the event of a Lost Child we will circulate our agreed policy prior.
  7. Welfare:
  • Disability and less abled access with traffic light terrain will be advised prior and throughout the event.
  • Comfort and toileting spaces will be identified prior to the event and escalated through communication to that group with advisory facilities.
  • Details of and barriers, aqua-ducts, bridges or structures will be identified and discussed with relevant group per location prior, during and after the event to ensure safe way of passage, entrance and exit.
  • We await Scottish Canals to update us of specific locations of Water Saving Equipment and locks which are on the Forth & Clyde canal tow paths.


Canal Care ~ The Towpath Code ~ Static Event. 

  • Shared space
  • Pedestrians have priority
  • Cyclists must slow down for others.

**Scottish Canals have informed us that they have had reports of “angry cyclists” In accordance with Scottish Canal’s protocol and for consistency we will call Police if any incidents.

  • We will encourage “take care when passing people, pets and wildlife”
  • Respect people using the waterway for activities.
  • Wheelchairs, mobility aids, cycles and legal e-bikes are allowed on the towpaths.
  • E-scooters, motorbikes, modified e-bikes and other unauthorised vehicles are not allowed.
  • Keep dogs under close control and clean up after them.
  • Take all litter home.
  • Adhere to all signage on the towpath
  • Stewards can be equipped with throw ropes as a precautionary health and safety measure.


8.1 Fire Safety Equipment

No fire Safety Equipment will be implemented.


Water Safety

Canals are often shallow, but you can’t tell from the surface.

Jumping in – you are likely to injure yourself, possibly seriously. However don’t be fooled into thinking that all canals are shallow. If you can’t put your feet on the ground, it will be much harder to get out.

Dangers of canals – Low temperatures, which can cause the body to go into cold shock and even hypothermia, drawing blood away from your muscles to protect your organs. This can lead to drowning.

Reeds and other plant life, which can get tangled around limbs and keep you in the water.

Swallowing canal water – Many organisms that cause gastro intestinal illnesses – Novovirus, Salmonella and Cryptosporidium are commonly found in rivers, lakes and canals. Symptoms include severe abdominal pain, diarrhoea and vomiting.

British waterways do not allow swimming in its canals.

Canal Undercurrents – Canals can have deep waters, strong undercurrents, and turbulence that could be a challenge for the strongest of swimmers.

Canal Banks – canal banks can be slick and steep making it difficult for someone to climb out.

All participants will line up along the furthest side to the towpath – lowering, considerably any unexpected canal/water entry. 


  1. If someone enters the canal by accident
  2. The situations should be assessed, and the alarm raised.
  3. A rescue should only be attempted if it is possible without endangering the life of the rescuer.
  4. Rescues which may be possible without risk to the rescuer are:
  • To throw a buoyant aid or a rope.
  • A reach rescue from the side whilst lying downusing any long object such as a pole, a branch of a tree or an item of clothing. It is important to lie down so as the person being rescued doesn’t pull the rescuer into the water.
  • A wade in rescue if the water is shallow.

A rescue is only attempted if it is safe to do so without putting rescuer at risk. It may be possible to affect a talking rescue by shouting instructions to a casualty to calm them down to help themselves.

  • Make Stewards, Event Manager, Police and PLO’s aware using your contact list.
  • Contact First Aiders. The fire service, police and ambulance service.



Four Parts of Water Safety Code

  • Spot The Dangers
  • Take Safety Advice
  • Don’t Go alone
  • Learn How To Help.

Most importantly, ensure your own safe space. You are part of a team – we are all there to support each other and nobody is expected to deal with anything on their own.

If there is anything that you are unhappy with or unsure about please talk to your Senior Steward, who will escalate to the relevant personnel.


Most importantly enjoy your day and be proud that you are making history!!

Thanks for making it happen! 


Judith Reid :      Organiser

Wilma Bowie :  Lead Admin & First Aid Liaison

Phil Murphy :    Head Steward & Ground Team Liaison Lead Coordinator 




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