Columns, Operations

The Four Priorities of an Emergency Response

Do you know the four priorities of an emergency response? Before reading any further, ask yourself what you think priority 1, 2, 3, and 4 is?

Now read on and see how you did.

Priority #1 — Myself

Priority #2 — My crew

Priority #3 — The surrounding public and community

Priority #4 — The patient or incident

How did you do? After reading the remainder of this SafetyZone tip, poll your crews. Chances are very high that greater than 50% of your personnel will have numbers three and four reversed — just as you may have.

Remember that the emergency you’re responding to is not your emergency. You have been called to assist and/or mitigate someone else’s unfortunate situation. Personal safety including the safety of your crew is of the highest priority coupled with the safety of those around you. Only when you arrive safely and the scene is secure does the patient become priority number one. However, once the patient is ready for transport, personnel must revert to the original four priorities during transport.