5 tips for Communication in Emergencies in Remote Areas

This topic is not about equipment, it’s about process. The what, when and how information should flow when you need the back up of medical aid.

Create a communication flowchart/process: This requires bit more thought than just ‘call the Homestead’. Whoever answers the call (maybe not initially, but the person who assumes control) needs to have what I refer to as the ‘Keys to the Kingdom’. This person needs to have the authorisation to move assets around, alter workflows, etc. This person may have to make some big operational decisions that have some sort of cost attached. All information and communication needs to go out through this person and back in through that person. In a prolonged event, this role might need to be shared

Use simple yet clear and common languages: Just the facts, simple but clear language. If you know things like the GCS to measure conscious state then use it because it is quick, simple and effective. Spend a moment to gather all the vital signs you can (particularly the big 3, Conscious State, Pulse and Breathing) and call them through in one communication, rather than getting 1, calling through, getting the next, calling through, etc.

Keep the language straightforward and to the point. Leave out unnecessary details

The right documents can lead you: Note pads require you to remember everything. Gather or design a set of reporting pads that are able to be put in First Aid kits and bigger note pads or A4 documents that guide you to the questions and processes of good First Aid treatments and reporting. It will remove the guess work and it helps you to speak the same language over the 2 way. We have developed packs to help with this process and it has been designed to match the Remote Area First Aid course and our Critical Incident response course.

A matching set of reporting duplicate A4 pads, Kit pads and small ‘chat cards’ can go a long way to simplifying your Emergency response processes

Create cheat sheets: Small business card sized notes that remind you and your team of the basics. What is a GCS and how do I calculate it? Put it on a small card. What does AMPLE stand for? Put it on a card. What is your approach? Primary Survey, Main Problem, Secondary Survey, etc. Stick them in your front line First Aid kits.

Document everything: it makes you and your organisation a better First Aid operation: Don’t try to remember everything. When working on the ambulance we are encouraged to check the app as often as possible and practical. There’s enough to remember, especially when you don’t do it all the time. Plus it protects you and your organisation down the track as you have a good and consistent practice that you have not only followed, but documented that you followed it.

Using the feedback we’ve gained over the years from working with some of Australia’s largest Pastoral Companies, it was identified that keeping good, accurate records in a First Aid situation wasn’t easy and the right tools simply didn’t exist. So we have developed the Emergency Report Pack! It contains;

  • 1 x duplicate book for the Homestead/Office
  • 4 x A6 sized matching notepads
  • 6 x Primary Approach process cards (credit card sized)
  • 6 x Vital Signs values cards (Conscious State, Pulse rate, Breathing rate, Blood Pressure)

These are available as a 1 Station Pack or the 5 Station Pack for larger operations/outstations. Click Here to get your packs. Stocks are limited.

If you would like more information about this topic or any others, or to book a Remote Area First Aid course, please contact us on 0491 057 339 or email info@ruralandremotefirstaid.com.au

For regular updates from us sign up to our list.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *