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Extrication of a casualty

Casualties may need to be extricated from many environments. Further information will be provided in the 'Context' guidance including:

  • Road transport systems (including Highways Agency managed motorways)
  • Underground rail transport systems
  • Overground rail transport systems, including overhead line equipment (OLE)
  • Air transport systems
  • Maritime environments and waterways (including docks and boatyards)
  • Subsurface, height, structures and confined spaces

In this guidance, the term 'mode of transport' refers to any form of transport such as aircraft, rail vehicles, road vehicles, vessel or craft and will be referred to as 'vehicle or craft'.

For further information, see National Operational Guidance: Water rescue and flooding.

Each form of transport has its own set of hazards, relating to the materials used in construction, its contents and so on. Information on these hazards can be found in the relevant sections of this guidance.

Extrication of casualties may result in exposure to various hazards, many of which may be encountered at any incident. The control measures to address these more generic hazards will be found in the Operations guidance including:

  • Manual handling
  • Slips, trips and falls (on the same level)
  • Falls from working at height
  • Trauma/psychological stress
  • Body fluids from casualties
  • Physiological stress from work
  • Mechanical hazards
  • Environmental hazards
  • Animal hazards

Extrication of casualties will take place within the inner cordon of the incident. The Incident Command guidance provides information about establishing cordons.

A casualty can suffer further injury, illness or death from the incident if they do not receive prompt medical aid. By adopting a systematic approach to casualty care, any life-threatening conditions can be rapidly identified and managed.