Accessing a casualty involved with an unstable mode of transport

Control Measure Knowledge

This control measure should be read in conjunction with Stabilise the mode of transport


Ideally the mode of transport should be stabilised to prevent further injury to the casualty and to protect emergency responders. However, it may be necessary to use rapid stabilisation methods if there is a threat to life. For further information about the team approach for stabilisation refer to Casualty-centred rescue from a mode of transport: Initial actions.

The immediate benefits of securing and stabilising the mode of transport when accessing casualties include:

  • Minimising the risk of causing further injuries or distress to the casualty
  • Supporting the activity or weight of emergency responders
  • Facilitating the extrication of the casualty
  • Enabling medical responders timely access to the casualty
  • Providing medical responders a stable environment from which to provide pre-hospital care
  • Preventing the chassis or floor pan flexing if the mode of transport is weakened by cutting or as a result of collision
  • Reducing moving, rocking or jarring

The number of personnel and other emergency responders, plus the weight of their equipment, should be controlled to minimise the impact on the stability of the mode of transport, or on the condition of casualties.

Carrying out joint training and exercises with local medical responders may help to provide a more cohesive emergency response for incidents involving casualties in unstable modes of transport.

Strategic Actions

Tactical Actions