When working in Technical Rescue, there is lots of information required, as well as training and knowledge required to perform a perfect rescue. To aid this, similar to those used in medicine and first aid, there are loads of mnemonics used to 'make life easier'.
As mentioned above Medicine and first aid has loads of these aids which keep getting added to, altered, etc. as things change (and someone has an idea) such as DRSABCDE, MARCH, AVPU, SCALD, BURPS and many more which could make up an article of their own.
One that I came across initially in water rescue although I feel is relevant in any rescue a few years back (along with SASPI which I'll mention in a later article) is LASET.
What does it mean?
LASET covers the five stages of nearly all rescues.
- LOCATE - Where is the casualty located?
- ACCESS - How can we get to the casualty?
- STABILISE - How can we stop them falling/moving?
- EXTRICATE - The actual rescue of the casualty from their initial location
- TRANSPORT - The onward movement of the casualty normally by NHS Ambulance to hospital.
Although designed for technical type rescues we could look at this in a more general approach, especially for those working in remote medical care or remote event medicine.
Medical Incident Management
If we take the above and look at it from a general incident management role using it as a prompt for what we need to consider:
LOCATE - Where is the casualty? Think about address, grid reference. Distance and location from your position. Useful points for conversations with ambulance control and for your own planning for the next step. If it is, or sounds like a serious incident/accident, think about notifying emergency services now as they may take time to get to your initial, or the casualties location. Give them as much information as you have at this point.
ACCESS - How can you, or your medical/first aid teams get to the casualty? Is it an easy walk? Do you need specialist equipment? You have to think about your staff safety at all times. Is it safe for them to access the casualty location? Do they need to have completed specialist training such as Safe Work at Height or Flood and Swiftwater Rescue to get to the location? Remember they need to carry their medical equipment and possibly a stretcher to the casualty. they need to have the kit they require rather than arrive on site and have to send back for more equipment.
STABILISE - Once arrived at the casualty site. You or your first aiders/medical team need to stabilise the casualty. Any lifesaving interventions need to be done now to reduce the deteriation of the casualties condition. Deal with the things that matter now. Once stabilised, the casualty needs to either be packaged ready for transport or if they're in a very poor condition and cannot be moved, emergency services need to have had an update on the casualty condition.
EXTRICATE - If you can 'self-rescue' within your own organisation and not to the detriment of patient safety, extricate the casualty from their location to the 'place of safety' or RV point for onward transfer to the emergency services. This may involve technical rescue methods depending on your team and the incident location or could just involve lots of manpower and a 'carry out'.
TRANSPORT - Arrange onward transport to a medical facility, e.g.. hospital. This could be with colleagues for more minor accidents or could require ambulance transport using an NHS Ambulance Service Vehicle.
For incident managers or senior medics/first aiders you can see that these questions/prompts are going to help with your decision making and also in providing the correct care for the casualty.
As always, the information included in this article is intended as a prompt or guide to some of the things you have to consider. The use of LASET as an aide memoir can be of help to you as a first aider or incident manager especially for those working in commercial safety and rescue or on event medical teams where you could be in a remote location and have lots more factors to consider.
Red Kite SAR Consultancy has many years of experience in emergency planning, incident management and provision of remote care. Contact Us for more details on how we can assist you.