First Aid and CPR Training

Students are strongly encouraged to complete First Aid and CPR Training in order to ensure safety on set. This is especially recommended for students that work often as 1st Assistant Directors or Health and Safety Supervisors.

You may take an American Red Cross First Aid/CPR/AED course through Loyola Marymount University. The purpose of this course is to provide you with the knowledge and skills needed to recognize and respond appropriately to cardiac, breathing and first aid emergencies.

The training is comprised of an online and in person component. When you complete the online portion of the training, which can be accessed here, you will receive a “certificate” saying you completed the online training, which can be used as proof of completion. You will also receive an email stating that you completed the training. For more information and detailed instructions about the online training, click here

If you are interested in completing the certification process, you will need to schedule a time to complete the in-person skills test. Certification is $32.

On successful completion of the course, you will receive an American Red Cross First Aid/CPR/ AED certification, which is valid for 2 years. To successfully complete the First Aid/CPR/AED course, you must:

  •  Successfully complete the online session (blended learning courses only).
  • Attend and participate in all class sessions.
  • Actively participate in all course activities, including assuming various roles during skill practices and assessment scenarios.
  • Demonstrate competency in all required skills.
  • Successfully complete all assessment scenarios.

In addition, you may need to complete a final exam with a passing grade of 80 percent.

During your project approval meeting, PAT will discuss with you whether they will require someone with this training to be on set. In some cases, a certified LMU EMS will be provided for you.

Click here for a Ready Reference guide, which students can use as a quick reminder on how to do CPR, use and AED and what to do in the event of choking and bleeding.



All projects approved by Production Administration are covered by the school’s insurance policy. In the event of an insurance claim (theft, damaged equipment, third party property damage) the student filmmaker is responsible for a $3500 deductible.


There are three types of insurance that are provided to you and your project: 

General Commercial Liability (GCL)  

Property Damage  (PD)  

Worker’s Compensation (WC) 


This is a policy that covers activities, actions and damage from those circumstances not directly related to filming that would normally be resolved by litigation. It covers all the people and property directly involved with an accident you may have that was not directly related to filming. 

For example, if you were filming at a private residence and a piece of equipment fell and damaged a neighbor’s fence – that would be an incident covered by General Liability. 

Another example might be if a neighbor slipped and fell due to you having not secured or maintained your set properly. 


This insurance refers to the specific property that you may rent from an off-campus vendor and covers accidental damage or loss for that equipment. This insurance only covers damage to the specific property that you rented for filming. (Remember that leaving equipment unsecured or unattended is considered negligence and any resulting loss or damage would not be covered by LMU’s insurance.) 


This is insurance for the members of your cast or crew that may be injured on the set while working on the project. Note: for documentary projects, our WC does not cover subjects provided they are performing their normal activities and the student filmmaker does not direct them in any manner.  

The LMU Worker’s Compensation policy covers all projects within the United States. For projects shooting outside of the United States, WC coverage, may be provided under our Foreign Package policy. It would require additional cost that the student would have to bear.   In order for a project to be covered by the Foreign Package policy, it must be reviewed, underwriter approved and specifically declared on the policy.  


To help you understand the scope of our coverage, please review the list of excluded items below and their exceptions. The following elements are not covered by the SFTV Insurance Policy:

  • Use of aircraft (including drones). Students may purchase their own drone coverage. 
  • Use of watercraft valued over $50,000 (replacement value of craft) or over 26ft in length. Students may purchase their own insurance policy provided the filming activity is approved. 
  • Use of pyrotechnics. 
  • Use of animals without a professional animal handler. (see Animals section for more information) If you obtain the services of a professional, they must provide proof of their own insurance. Exotic animals are never permitted in student films.  
  • Use of railroads, either on a train or near train tracks.  
  • Any water activities (pool, ocean, river, lake) without a lifeguard on set. 
  • Minors on set without a parent/guardian and a studio teacher. 
  • Alcohol and drug use. 
  • Criminal activity, or violation of federal, state, and local regulations. 
  • Filming on rooftops. You can NEVER film on a roof while at SFTV.  
  • Unauthorized use of others’ intellectual property.  
  • Damage or injury, which resulted due to an insured’s Gross Negligence 
  • Skydiving, the use of planes, scuba diving, parasailing, major stunts, extreme sports or any other similar “hazardous” activity. 
  • Property insurance is extended to projects shooting outside the state of California however equipment valued over $10,000 must have the Risk Manager’s approval before leaving the United States. 
  • LMU insurance coverage does not provide Errors & Omission insurance. 


Picture Vehicles.

As long as the vehicle is not moving in the shot, your picture vehicle is considered a prop. Damage is covered by SFTV’s insurance with the student filmmaker responsible the $3500 deductible. 

Personal Vehicles

Personal vehicles are allowed to be used, however the personal auto insurance policy on the vehicle will respond in the event of a claim not LMU’s insurance. Check with your personal auto insurance carrier for possible coverage.  

Production Trucks

Production trucks are not covered. If you are renting any production vehicles, it is highly recommended to purchase the insurance coverage from the rental company.  The student filmmaker is also responsible for SFTV’s gear in the truck. Please see Production Trucks for required security measures when parking overnight.

Towed Generators

Towed generators are considered vehicles and are not covered while in transit. They are covered once on location and functioning as a power plant. 


If your project requires additional insurance coverage and you need to purchase your own insurance, below are several companies that offer student production insurance.  

Abacus Find a Broker Insurance Services

Gallagher Entertainment Insurance


  • The first step for filming outside the United States is approval by the pertaining faculty.
  • At the same time, book a “check in” with the head of production, Josef Lieck, for an initial conversation about what it entails.
  • The insurance underwriter will make the decision about coverage for the project based on:
    • general risk assessment of the region using the US State Department Travel Advisories
    • value of insured gear
    • detailed description of the filming locations and how gear will be stored and secured over night.
    • description of all “hazardous activities” planned for filming
  • When thinking about filming abroad, consider that the gear will have to be shipped. However, our camera and sound departments try to provide cases that can be checked in as luggage and will provide you with “carnet” documents (list of all items, serial numbers and values, so you can import and then export the gear without having to pay customs).
  • Any LMU equipment requested to be used outside of the United States will need to be approved by Production Administration and Risk Management.  
  • *Workers compensation coverage needs to be approved by our insurance provider subject to additional cost borne by the student. 
  • All foreign projects need to be vetted by Risk Management, our insurance broker, and our insurance carrier.  
  • When filming in a foreign country, research should be done ahead of time to determine if the country accepts U.S. insurance coverage and what kind of coverage that country requires. 

Our insurance brokers may decline to cover a project for any number of reasons. Before you begin writing your script you may want to check with the Head of Production to see if there are any red flags. An uncovered loss could jeopardize insurance coverage for all students and SFTV.  If you have questions about any production element in your project, please consult with the Head of Production or  contact:   

Doug Moore, LMU Risk Manager 


In The Event of Injury or Accident

As soon as the injured person is stabilized or being transported to a medical facility YOU MUST CALL DOUGLAS MOORE, RISK MANAGEMENT VP(day or night including weekends). 

  • (310) 338 3071 (Office)
  • (424) 702 7595 (Cell) 

LMU’s POLICY #: Hartford Insurance Company #72WEAM3MAM (this information appears on the call sheet) 

Have insurance information ready so there will be no delay in providing medical care while someone determines who’s going to pay for it.

The location of the nearest Emergency Room or Urgent Care facility should be listed on the Call Sheet. If it is determined that the injured can be moved, you should have a “designated driver” who will take charge of transporting the injured party to the nearest care provider. 

If the person who has been hurt cannot be moved call 911 immediately.  

You must file an “SFTV ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION REPORT” immediately. You will be given these documents at your approval meeting. You must complete it and send it to Douglas Moore within 8 hours of the incident. 

Special Effects or Mechanical Effects


The use of special effects can enhance any production. Effects can range from something as small as the use of breakaway glass to a huge fireball. No matter the size of the effect, care must be taken and all safety procedures need to be followed in order to maintain a safe set. The Assistant Director must include any special effects in the daily safety meeting. We recommend the use of on-set professional special effects personnel or at least consulting with them when renting or purchasing special effects equipment and/or material. There are many choices of special effects “shops.” Here are a few that have worked with LMU students: 

Full Scale FX

Roger George

Special Effects Unlimited

At LMU you are not allowed to use any pyrotechnical device (explosions, guns firing any blank or projectile, etc.) 

At LMU you are allowed to use several special effects on your productions: 

  • Breakaway glass or bottles (eye protection must be available and worn) Alfonso Breakaway Glass
  • Wet downs (spraying water to enhance the look of streets for night shooting) 
  • Rain bars (if on stage, precautions taken to protect the floor and a clean-up plan in place. A wet-vac or sump pumps as needed are useful tools.) 
  • Smoke/fog (non-toxic, water-based materials only.) An SDS1 must be attached to the call sheet. Cast & crew must be notified ahead of time. Particle masks should be made available to the cast & crew. There is no form of any smoke, fog, or haze allowed on campus, which includes any LMU stages or black boxes at this time. For any off-campus use, you must obtain permission from the location and it must be indicated on your Film LA or another jurisdiction’s permit. You may be required to hire a Mechanical FX professional.
  • Smoking on camera is allowed however ONLY HERBAL cigarettes, fake tobacco or fake cannabis are the only substances that can be used on camera. BUTT CANS and a FIRE EXTINGUISHER MUST be present for all such work.
  • Dust pellets, you may use dust pellets to simulate bullet hits only if they are thrown. If you want to use a paint-ball type of gun or wrist rocket, a professional special effects person (approved by Production Administration) must be hired to control and administer the device. In any case, eye protection must be available and used. 
  • Open flames (candles, camp fires, stoves). There are no open flames or candles allowed on campus, except for the the sound stages, which are permissible locations provided there are safety procedures in place, such as a fire extinguisher and the office of Public Health & Safety (P-Safe) has been notified.
    • If you are shooting on a local location (LA County or City), the Film Permit Office may require the presence of a professional FSO2 if an open flame is used. If you are filming in a “High Fire Hazard” area you will not be allowed to use an open flame.     
    • A responsible person shall be designated for the handling, placement, safe use and securing daily of any open flame devices.  
    • secure all stationary open flame fixtures.  
    • Flammables and combustibles shall be kept a safe distance from open flames.  
    • All gas lines in connection with the use of open flames shall be approved in accordance with applicable building and fire codes. When using liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), hoses and fittings must be of a type approved for LPG service.  
    • All cast and crew, including stunt performers, should be notified reasonably in advance of their involvement with open flames. (again, this should be on the call sheet) 
    • When fire is used, fire extinguishment equipment must be in close proximity and properly trained personnel should stand by.  
    • Appropriate fire authorities should be contacted prior to the use of open flames, whether at a studio or on location. 
    • The person responsible for igniting the flame should ensure he or she maintains a clear line of sight of the flame or maintains direct communication with a designated observer.  
    • Make sure that an adequate number of proper fire extinguishers are at hand. 
    • Test the extinguishers before igniting any open flame to ensure that they are in working condition. 
    • Consider that the illusion of fire can be created with a lighting effect. Be careful with loose clothing around open flame. Untreated fabric can ignite quickly and cause severe injury. 
  • Dust Effects “Fuller’s Earth” is the most common “product” used for dust.  Some of the more common organic products used to create dust effects include wheat flour, rice flour, corn starch, coffee creamers and crushed nutshells. 


Common effects of exposure to any airborne material are eye irritation, respiratory irritation, and skin irritation. Particle masks should always be made available to the cast & crew. The MSDS will contain information about the products being used, the necessary precautions that should be taken, and the products’ potential effects. The MSDS must be attached to the call sheet. 

If the product is combustible, do not use around open flames or other potential sources of ignition (e.g., set lighting devices). 

Before using any materials please ask: 

  • Are you or any member of the cast or crew asthmatic, allergic or have other medical conditions that would be affected by exposure to the product?  
  • Is the product combustible; and will it be used on an interior set or location?  

When using products to create effects, you must take all appropriate safety precautions.  

Safety Guidelines


“Safety First” is not only a slogan, it is a mandate.  No member of the cast or crew should ever be put in any jeopardy for the purpose of making a shot. There is never a reason to risk anyone’s safety. Nonetheless, many people have been injured and killed on film sets.  

The Safety Meeting

The 1st Assistant Director is the Safety Officer for the production.  However, every person working on a set has an obligation to speak up when they see an unsafe situation. The A.D. should encourage crew members to speak up if they have any concerns.  The A.D. should conduct a safety meeting at the beginning of every shoot day.   

The meeting can be brief and informal but should cover the following items: 

  • Review any specific items that relate to the day’s filming (animals, stunts, smoke effects, etc.)  
  • Refer to any applicable safety bulletins which should be attached to your call sheet. Contract Services Administration Trust Fund (CSATF) is a non-profit organization that administers many programs for the motion picture industry. Here is a link to a list of their safety bulletins. 
  • Demand good housekeeping on the set. Walkways and work areas should be kept free of equipment and debris. While shooting on a sound stage, a four-foot perimeter from the stage wall must be maintained at all times. All exits must be free and clear.  
  • Locate emergency exits as well as the location of fire extinguishers and first aid kit. 
  • Provide designated smoking/vaping areas with butt cans. 
  • Determine a muster area in case evacuation becomes necessary 


The set is a work place and clothing appropriate for the work being done should be worn. Jewelry, loose sleeves, exposed shirt tails, or other loose clothing should not be worn around machinery in which it might become entangled. Long hair should be tied back when working around machinery and or equipment with moving parts. 

Make sure the crew is informed (a note on the call sheet is advised) of clothing requirements (heat, cold, rain, snow, etc.) and that protective equipment such as safety glasses or hearing protection is available when needed. 

Foot Protection 

Per OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) open toed shoes are not allowed for crew. They, along with high heels (unless they are part of an actor’s costume), are never appropriate for a film set. Sturdy, all weather shoes or boots with slip resistant soles are a smart investment for a film crew member and are strongly recommended. Film sets can go as long as twelve hours. That’s a long time to be on your feet. Wear shoes that are supportive and comfortable. Your muscles and back will thank you!

Hand Protection 

Gloves should be worn when the work involves exposure to cuts, burns, chemical agents or electrical hazards capable of causing injury or impairments. 

Hospitals, Emergency Rooms & On-Set Medics 

As part of SFTV safety requirements, you must list the location of the nearest hospital or emergency room on every call sheet. If your location is more than five miles to the nearest facility, Production Administration may require your production to hire an on-set medic, EMT or trauma nurse.   

LMU Student Health Services EMT alumni are also a good source to find an on-set medic. The rate is $20/hour. A rental fee for their supplies will need to be negotiated. You may contact Dylan Resnick  for a list of available and interested EMT’s. 

In addition, there are several services that provide trained medics such as Event Medics or Set Medics LA. 

You can also contact a local fire station or hospital to inquire about hiring an off-duty EMT or nurse.  



Inspect all ladders at the time of checkout and before use for broken or missing rungs, steps, split side rails, or other defects.  Any bent supports or other defects should be reported and ladder taken out of service. 

3 points of contact are needed when using ladders. 

Never use a metal ladder near electrical wires. 

Never place ladders in doorways unless protected by barricades or guards. 

Never stand on the top step of a stepladder.  

Never climb above the third rung from the top on a straight ladder. Do not over reach on any ladder; move the ladder when needed. 

Straight ladders should extend at least 3 feet above its top landing support point. 

Straight ladders should be tied down as close to the top landing support point as possible. 

Always use a 4 to 1 ratio (1 foot away for every 4 feet of ladder height) when utilizing a straight ladder. 

Always face the ladder when ascending or descending and maintain a firm grip. 

If you carry tools, use a tool belt or a bucket attached to a hand line to pull equipment up and to lower it down. 

Always lock the wheels to prevent any rolling or instability. 

Dangers To Avoid On Set



Falls are the single most common injury-producing accident on film sets. Often these falls are the result of haste and/or not utilizing proper safety measures such as fall restraint systems, nets and guardrails. Any elevation, location, or lighting that requires an elevation of over 6 feet must be reviewed by PAT for safety and may require a fall arrest system (harness, e.g.) designed by a competent person. The most important thing you can do to prevent accidents of this type is to be aware of tempo of the set. Have a sense of when things are starting to get hectic and out of control. If you perceive this to be the case, slow the pace down. 


Jumping on or off a truck lift gate 

Despite your age and athleticism, do not jump on or off a lift gate. This is a very good way to sprain an ankle or knee.  

Motor Vehicles and filming equipment 

Shooting on any public street, thoroughfare, alley, road, highway or freeway; or near enough to any such roadway so as to present a “distraction and/or disturbance” is prohibited by local, State and/or Federal law without the proper permits and safety procedures. Filmmakers are never empowered to control or direct traffic in any way. Per SFTV policy, if you are planning to shoot on or adjacent to a street, highway, road or parking lot you will be issued SFTV reflective safety vests. These must be worn by all of your crew.  


Heat Illness Prevention 

Labor rules kick in at 80 and 95 degrees and above. While not applicable to a student film shoot, it’s a good idea to adapt them. Set must provide access to water and shade. There should be continuous line of sight maintained between all cast and crew. Have a buddy system.


When the body gains or retains more heat than it loses, the result is called hyperthermia or high core temperature, which can cause damage to the brain and other vital organs and could decrease the chances of survival. Elevated air temperatures and humidity, working around hot machinery, vigorous work activity, absence of a breeze or wind or exposure to direct sunlight can all contribute to overheating. 


Hypothermia is reduced body temperature that happens when a body dissipates more heat than it absorbs. In mild hypothermia there is shivering and mental confusion. In moderate hypothermia shivering stops and confusion increases. In severe hypothermia, there may be paradoxical undressing, in which a person removes his or her clothing, as well as an increased risk of the heart stopping.  

Efforts to increase body temperature involve shivering, increased voluntary activity, and putting on warmer clothing. Hypothermia may be diagnosed based on either a person’s symptoms in the presence of risk factors or by measuring a person’s core temperature.  

The treatment of mild hypothermia involves warm drinks, warm clothing, and physical activity. 

Heat Cramps 

Heat cramps are caused by the loss of electrolytes in the blood and muscle tissue through sweating.  The primary symptom of heat cramps is painful muscle spasms or cramping of skeletal muscles, such as the arms and leg, or involuntary muscles such as abdominal muscles or both. 

Heat Exhaustion 

Heat exhaustion, also called heat prostration or heat collapse, is the most common serious illness caused by heat. 

Symptoms may include:  

Nausea, cold/wet (clammy), dizziness, grayish skin color, headache, disorientation, blurred vision. Heat exhaustion may come on suddenly as syncope (fainting) and collapse. This is especially true if the crew or cast member has been sitting or standing for long periods of time with little movement. The vital signs may be normal, although the pulse is often rapid.  

Treatment includes removal from the heat, seeking medical attention and/or calling 911, replenish fluids .


Heatstroke is the least common but most serious heat illness caused by heat exposure. It is caused by a severe disturbance in the heat regulating mechanism of the body and is a true medical emergency. Left untreated, heatstroke may result in death. 

Treatment includes: 

Seek medical attention and/or call 911 immediately remove from heat, lie on back with feet elevated. Start aggressive cooling with wet cloths, alcohol wipes or immersion into tepid water. Transport to a medical facility. 

Ultraviolet radiation 

Another hazard is ultraviolet radiation, caused by exposure to the sun’s rays. Exposure can cause sunburn; long term exposure can cause skin cancer. Precautions to minimize exposure should be taken, including the use of sunscreen should be applied 15 to 20 minutes prior to exposure, reapply throughout the workday. 

General Precautions for hot environments 

Fluid replacement is the most important thing a person can do to prevent heat- related illnesses; Alternate between water and Gatorade type drinks. Avoid alcohol and caffeine.

Use sunscreen or sun block, wear long loose sleeved shirts and pants and a wide brim hat; baseball caps do not provide protection to the ears and neck area of the body. 

Overhead sun protection, water and/or fluid supply should be available. 

Indigenous Critters 

Special safety considerations must be taken when working on locations where various indigenous critters may be present. It is also production’s responsibility to assure the safety of the indigenous critters in the filming area, and to provide for the removal of wildlife from locations.  

If you have additional questions regarding the AHA’s Guidelines for the Safe Use of Animals in Filmed Media, contact the Film and Television Unit at (818) 501-0123.   


Always look where you are putting your feet and hands, never reach into a hole, crevices in rock piles, under rocks, or dark places where a snake may be hiding. If you need to turn over rocks, use a stick. 

Attempt to stay out of tall grass. Walk in cleared spots as much as possible. step on logs, not over them so that you can first see whether there is a rattlesnake concealed below on the far side.

Be cautious when picking up equipment, coiled cables, and bags left on the ground. Cables must be properly secured in all walkways.

On hot summer days, rattlesnakes can become nocturnal and come out at night when you do not expect it. Care should be taken when working at night after a hot summer day.

If bitten:  

Seek immediate medical attention, immediately immobilize the body part affected, attempt to note the time and area of body bitten, do not apply a tourniquet, incise the wound, or attempt to suck out the venom, do not allow the victim to engage in physical activity. 


Locations that may involve the use of alleyways, beneath bridges, tunnels, abandoned buildings, or other structures, may involve potential contact with rodents. 


Power Tools

Power tools are dangerous unless they are handled with care and respect. If the operator is standing on a wet conductive surface, the shock can be fatal. Power tools should never be carried by their cords and they should never be shut off by yanking the cord from the receptacle. When using power tools during construction, Ground Fault Circuit-Interrupter (GFI) protection is required. Test the GFI device to see if it is functioning properly.  


Smoking is never allowed on sound stages unless the script requires it. In that case, butt cans, or a metal can filled with sand to extinguish cigarettes, must be nearby. The stage must be adequately managed and means of escape from sets and buildings is provided. All items of scenery, including props and dressings, should be either naturally fire resistant, flame- or fire- proofed. 


The use of glass within studios and stage sets should be avoided. Where possible, use plastic-based materials. 

Fire Lanes and Fire Exits

Means of escape in case of fire should be clearly identified and kept clear at all times. 

Sets should not obstruct the statutory fire signage used within studios, stages, or theaters. If necessary, temporary signage should be provided if any scenery obstructs the view of normal fire escape signs. 

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