Anyone can learn to lead a rescue operation by using a simple model.
The model can also be used as a tool to build an effective
evacuation plan for a building or an area. The following items are not
necessarily a chronological sequence but a guideline for a rescue operation,
where each items can be interchanged or omitted depending on the
Make an overview
Any rescue operation big or small always begins with the leader creates
an overview. First of all, the leader must ensure that he avoid to be injured
himself. In addition, the leader make an overview of what has happened,
how many people are injured, how big is the damages on the buildings or
the area and other possible hazards. These details should later also be used
when calling 9-1-1 (US) or 1-1-2 (Europe).
Stop the accident / decrease
the accidents development
The leader must try to ensure that the accident do not develop. A major fire
can probably not be extinguished, but it is possible to ensure a slower diffusion
by closing windows and doors to reduce the oxygen flow.
Acting / paralyzed
Major accidents has to be solved by a "team" and the leader must therefore
determine which of the bystanders, he can use in the rescue operation.
Based on each bystanders reaction to the accident, we can put the bystanders
into the following four categories:
a) Those who exhibit an appropriate behavior
These are those who can lead the entire or a part of the rescue operation.
b) Those who respond by being shortly paralyzed
Typically people, who have never learned first aid or where it is a long time ago
since they have been on a first aid training course. But these people are also characterized by that they will perform a subtask in the rescue operation, if it
is exactly defined what to do.
c) Those who will respond whit greater psychological reactions
d) Those who respond so violently that they lose the control.
The last two groups (c and d) should not participate in the rescue operation. The
successful leader will use the people from group b to perform psychological first
aid to these two groups.
The management of different
tasks in the rescue operation
In major accidents, there are many tasks to be solved depending on the accidents
type and extent. eg. evacuation, calling 9-1-1 (US) / 1-1-2 (Europe), treatment of'
injuries, delegating responsibility to people to manage the assembly points, finding
access routes for emergency vehicles, etc.. The best leader is the one who enters
a step backwards, keeps the general view and place other people/bystanders into
Prioritizing the injured people
If it is necessary to evacuate the building or area, the first priority is to find out
who can be evacuated based on how much injured each person is. We can be in
a situation where someone not can be moved without danger for the taskforce.
Only when we have placed the injured people safely in he assembly area, we can
prioritize the injured people, and here we prioritize the casualties with
life-threatening injuries first.
Roads for rescue vehicles / escape routes
The leader must also have an idea of how the rescue vehicles are coming to the
burning building, injured area, assembly points for injured people. He must also
have en idea of which escape routes to be used through the building/area by
evacuating to the assembly points.
Assembly points for evacuated people
By evacuation the leader must have an idea of, where he will place the assembly
points, where it is safe to be until the rescue vehicles arrive, and where the further
first aid can be implemented.
Psychological first aid
During the entire rescue operation psychological first aid must be given all time and
as much as possible. After the rescue operation should all have psychological first
aid - also the leaders. Here it can be necessary with a psychological debriefing by