The beginning of the shift was like any other day. The hellos and what happened at home filled employee conversations. There were jokes, laughter and sips of coffee to get everyone going. Then, without warning, an emergency disrupts everything.
An emergency can happen anytime, even during the typical start to the morning, afternoon, or evening. Sometimes there are warning signs. Other times, it can feel like the emergency came out of nowhere.
Whether it’s a medical emergency, faulty equipment, a car collision, or another circumstance, you must know how to react and what priorities there are.
To safely work through an emergency, consider these 6 priorities.
1. Stop to assess the situation – watch out for danger.
Rushing in without evaluating the scene may put you at risk. Take a moment to evaluate what you see and your surroundings.
2. Make sure it is safe to approach the scene.
When evaluating the area, look for hazards. Do you see power lines down? Are there chemical bottles open near the unconscious person? Are vehicles still driving around the collision scene?
3. Make the area safe.
After identifying hazards, attempt to remove them if possible. Take a moment to make the area safer to render aid by removing a sharp object from where someone has been cut, turning off electricity, removing a violent client, etc.
4. Assess the victim.
Determine what level of care the victim needs. Knowing whether first aid, trauma care, and/or rescue is needed will assist in deciding what additional resources may be needed.
5. Call for help.
If there is a need for an ambulance, police, fire, or rescue, contact 911 and any additional resources you have locally to assist.
6. Resuscitate and treat injuries as necessary.
Depending on the victim’s injuries, provide appropriate care (if trained). Make sure your team has the training to provide basic first aid and consider a “stop the bleed” training for your associates.
Emergencies can happen at any time. Following a systematic approach to emergency response will help prepare your team and company should one occur.