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Medical equipment

Hazard Knowledge

In this document, the term 'equipment used by other agencies' refers primarily to equipment used by the ambulance service. This will include 'sharps' such as syringes and scalpels, and also drugs and oxygen. Further information can be found in the Casualty care section.

The hazards posed by the equipment used by other agencies include:

  • Puncture wounds
  • Cross-contamination
  • Cuts
  • Lacerations
  • Explosion

It is reasonable to assume that the ambulance service will take responsibility for its own equipment. However, it is also reasonable to assume that when medical interventions on a casualty are taking place inside a vehicle, some equipment may be scattered. Other agencies do not always practise the discipline of creating an ordered equipment or tool point and this can create issues for maintaining a safe working environment.

It is important to realise that different agencies at the same incident have different ways of working, and may have different priorities to fire and rescue service personnel. This may also include their approach to appropriate levels of personal protective equipment (PPE). Co-operation and communication are important to resolve the incident. Regardless of the agency, or number of agencies, they should be focused on the casualty, making the incident safe and using a casualty centred rescue approach.