National Wildfire Coordinating Group

Serious Injury Procedures


Dealing with serious injuries on the fireline can add even more stress to our hectic work environment. In the event a fireline accident occurs, adherence to the following principles is important to ensure an adequate and appropriate response is made.

  • Before entering the scene, determine whether it is safe to approach. Look for hazards as well as what may have happened. It may be necessary to move the patient or to make the area safe before doing an assessment.
  • Provide first aid and assess the extent of the injuries.
  • Make contact with your supervisor. Depending on the complexity of the fire, that could be your Crew Boss, Division Supervisor, Incident Commander, or even dispatch. If your fire has a medical plan, follow the plan.
  • Provide accurate, concise information on the following:
    • Number of people injured.
    • Type of injuries.
    • Severity of injuries (light, moderate, severe, life threatening).
    • Mechanism of injury.
    • Vital signs (pulse, respiration, level of consciousness, etc.).
  • Determine the best method of evacuation. Depending on the severity of injury or availability of resources, this decision may already be made for you.
  • Keep the radio frequency clear of non-emergency traffic. Provide updates of the patient’s condition and await instructions.
  • If evacuation is by helicopter, it may be necessary to construct a helispot. Document treatment provided in case it is necessary to send the information along with the patient in the aircraft.
  • If the patient needs to be carried to a road, ensure enough people are available to work in relays.
  • Once the patient is clear, take a moment to write down witness statements, clean up notes and timelines, and document any other pertinent information.


Firefighter Health & Safety
Page Last Modified / Reviewed: 
Nov 2021

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