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by the NFCC

Control measure

Manage medical equipment: Rescues

Control measure knowledge

The importance of communicating with other agencies cannot be understated.

The presence and type of any medical equipment should be identified and made safe to prevent harm to personnel, other emergency responders and casualties.

Medical equipment may belong to medical responders or casualties, and often includes:

  • Needles
  • Syringes
  • Lancets, used with finger-pricking devices

Medical responders should manage and safely dispose of the equipment they use. Personnel should be aware of the activities of medical responders, in case they are using medical equipment that could be hazardous.

A sharps bin is suitable for some types of medical equipment and should be used for its disposal. For larger medical equipment or if it cannot be safely removed, it should be signposted to prevent it from becoming a hidden hazard. Emergency responders should be made aware of the types of hazard present and their location.

It may also be necessary to establish a medical equipment area and ensure all emergency responders are made aware of its location.

It may be beneficial to use joint training to gain familiarisation of the medical equipment and procedures used by other agencies during rescues.

For further information refer to Operations – Manage the risk from infectious diseases.

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Have suitable arrangements for the disposal of clinical waste

  • Consider using joint training to gain familiarisation of the medical equipment and procedures used by other agencies

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Liaise with other agencies to identify and understand their activities and equipment
  • Identify and isolate personal medical equipment that presents a risk to responders
  • Safely dispose of medical equipment, or make its location and hazards known to emergency responders

  • Establish a medical equipment area and communicate its location to all emergency responders