Use casualty transport equipment

Control Measure Knowledge

Under the ‘LAST’ acronym, Transport is the final element to facilitate the casualty receiving appropriate and definitive medical care. It should provide the removal of casualties to a place of relative safety. It is important to remember that the casualty should be protected from any harm during this part of the operation.

Information that may be relevant and important for casualties to be safely and effectively transported, should be passed to the medical responders as part of the casualty handover. For further information refer to Handover of a casualty to a medical responder.

Rescues may need to be carried out using fire and rescue service equipment for extricating or transporting the casualty. The use of suitable equipment such as basket stretchers, scoop stretchers or equivalent should be considered.

Any equipment used should aim to reduce manual handling issues for personnel, while also reducing the risk of deterioration of the casualty’s condition. Making a request for suitable resources or equipment from other agencies should be considered.


When using stretchers, the following points should be addressed:

  • The stretcher and associated equipment must be fit for its intended use
  • The stretcher and associated equipment must always be used within a safe system of work
  • Consideration of additional loading in the rescue environment due to the use of emergency responders as stretcher attendants
  • The need for physical protection to prevent injury of the casualty
  • Warm clothing or covering for the casualty to prevent hypothermia

Generally, unconscious casualties and those with major or spinal injuries should be transported by stretcher in a horizontal position; movement in a vertical position should only be used temporarily in order to negotiate obstacles.

Motorised vehicles

It may be beneficial to consider the use of suitable motorised vehicles to assist personnel to extricate and transport the casualty. Requests for suitable resources or vehicles from other agencies should be considered.

The benefits of using motorised vehicles to transport casualties include:

  • Improved access and egress to the scene of operations
  • Reduced impact on the ongoing operations of other fire and rescue services or other agencies
  • To prevent deterioration of the casualty
  • Reduction in manual handling issues

There may be restrictions, such as insurance arrangements, on fire and rescue service vehicles being used to transport casualties to a place of relative safety, including hospitals. Fire and rescue services should have a corporate policy that clearly states whether this practice is allowed or prohibited. If it is allowed, the policy should include clear guidelines about when it would be an appropriate and justified action.

Strategic Actions

Tactical Actions