[ Skip to main content ]
< Back to all stories

New course aims to help event staff assist intoxicated patrons

25 Mar 2024

Picture the scene: a security guard is patrolling the grounds of a heaving EDM concert when they discover a distressed patron lying on the ground.  
The person is showing signs of intoxication and is struggling to remain conscious - how should the security guard respond 

To help in situations like this, Hato Hone St John has recently launched an e-learning course, Management of an Intoxicated Person, designed to empower employees and first aiders to assist intoxicated patrons confidently. 
The course was developed in collaboration with NZ Drug Foundation Te Puna Whakaiti Pāmamae Kai Whakapiri, Whakaronogorau Aotearoa New Zealand Telehealth Services, and the Adult Sexual Harm Team – Ngā Pirihimana o Aotearoa New Zealand Police. 

Hato Hone St John have designed this unit primarily for those who work in the events space, hospitality (particularly bars and clubs), security and at universities. 

What's in the course?

This e-learning course has seven short 40-minute modules allowing learners to work at their own pace. Those who take the course will learn to identify: 

  1. Signs, symptoms, and stages of intoxication.

  2. Different types of drugs and their effects.

  3. Risks for patrons associated with being intoxicated.

  4. Common first aid skills for managing intoxicated individuals.

  5. Using DRSABC (danger, response, airway, breathing and circulation) for managing an unresponsive person.

  6. Key principles of CPR and defibrillation.

  7. Understanding when to seek further help or support 

Simon Barnett, Head of Training at Hato Hone St John says that while many people can recognise when someone is intoxicated, few know how to effectively respond.  

“Unfortunatelyintoxicated people [can be] more susceptible to physical injuries and at risk of violence and sexual harm. By taking this course, people will learn what to do when placed in a situation where someone who is intoxicated needs assistance, he says. 

Many events now host drug checking and harm reduction organisations such as KnowYourStuffNZ. These groups offer free and legal drug checking services, informing patrons about what’s in their drugs and providing harm reduction advice. 

Despite the growth of these services, it's still crucial to ensure that event employees are adequately trained to respond when issues arise.

Timely intervention by a staff member with appropriate first aid training can make a significant difference when a patron is experiencing an overdose or severe effects from substances, potentially preventing serious harm or worse. 

How does this differ from standard first aid training?

Unlike conventional first aid courses, this e-learning course delves into the intricacies of intoxication, from mild to life-threatening emergencies. People taking the course can work through a flow chart to understand levels of intoxication and available support options. They also learn about the effects of stimulants, depressants, and hallucinogens. At the end of each module, they are quizzed on how they would apply what they have learned in practical scenarios.  

Management of an Intoxicated Person e-learning costs $79 and can be booked through the Hato Hone St John website buy.stjohn.org.nz or by calling 0800 FIRST AID

Image by Jorge Gordo on Unsplash


Recent news