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As incident commanders (IC) we are tasked to run a gambit of incidents. There are some incidents that can cause anxiety, of those 1 in particular can overwhelm IC’s quickly, the mass casualty incident (MCI). These incidents grow quickly and in order to manage it an IC needs quickly wrap his/her hands around it and dole out tasks. Below is a quick action guideline to assist you in with these incidents:


  • Quickly scan the incident for hazards to fire and rescue personnel and civilians
  • Determine the PPE needed to handle the incident and ensure it is broadcasted
  • Rapidly the number of patients and their priority
  • Establish a stationary command post and declare the incident is an MCI on the radio
  • Quickly ensure all walking wounded and those that do not appear to be injured, are moved away from the scene assign a company to handle this task
  • ASAP establish a Mass Casualty Branch, this will ensure you do not get overwhelmed by the incident.
  • Delegate functions early
  • Have communication alert the Emergency Medical Resource Center (EMRC) they will do a call down of all area hospitals and alert them of possible of patients arriving by car.
  • Utilize your radio talk groups to elevate mass communication on one channel.
  • Be prepared to set up a Unified Command with other responding agencies
  • Consider calling for additional units to the scene to assist with the incident (EMS Taskforce)
  • Ensure EMS units have a clear path in and out of the scene
  • Establish a DECON area if necessary
  • Establish a Rehab area away from the incident
  • Don’t forget the PIO to handle the press

This is just a quick guide to get you set up during the early stages of an MCI.

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