Expectations During an Incident
Emergencies of a
medical nature need not involve more than one victim. Your actions during
the crucial first minutes following onset of the situation can save lives.
The following should be your priorities until help arrives:
- Stay calm. This
will reassure the victim and keep you effective.
- Summon emergency
medical help. Call for an ambulance (in DC notify GWPD, elsewhere call
911). Be sure to give your name, a specific location, and a number to
call you back. If possible, have someone meet the ambulance to bring
the team to the scene expeditiously.
- Stay with the
victim while awaiting assistance and, if possible, undertake the following
- Airway: Is
the airway clear? Physically remove anything lodged in the mouth
or throat if you can. Do you know the Heimlich maneuver? Does anyone
If necessary, and you are qualified, begin mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
Ask for help if you need it.
Check for a pulse. If no pulse, and you are qualified, begin Cardio-Pulmonary
Resuscitation (CPR) or call for help. Someone nearby may be able
to assist you.
Apply direct pressure and elevation to stop persistent bleeding.
Keep the wound as clean as possible. Limit exposure to the blood
to the fewest number of people possible.
- Neck or spinal
injuries: Do not move victim unless absolutely necessary.
- Other health
problems: Check victim for emergency medical ID tags and/or medications.
When first responders arrive, inform them of what you found.
- Do not give
food or liquids: An unconscious or semi-conscious victim cannot
swallow and could suffocate.
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