Major Incident Planning and Support (MIP+S) Level 2

80 videos, 4 hours and 32 minutes

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Dealing with the public

Video 64 of 80
2 min 23 sec
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As a health service officer, I tend not to have to deal with the public, in most cases that is normally the province of the police. However, in the initial stages of the incident, there is no doubt that you will have to deal with the public. And this will be a public that is stressed, upset, concerned by what has happened, who may well have friends and relatives involved in this incident, so you need to handle them with tact, diplomacy and care.

The public will sort of help long before you have arrived on the scene and will continue to do so. And to be fair, you will not be able to stop them but what you can do is push them in the direction that you want it to go and actually it gives you the advantage to utilise them, particularly in the early stages of the scene to get jobs done when you got very limited resources on the scene. The trick here is to engage with them with authority, but care.

As an example, when I arrive on the scene, I will look for the people that are, what I would call the Type A personalities, the natural leaders in the crowd and I will try and pick on them before they pick on me and it will probably look something like this: "Right, you. Can you go with him, help get some kits off the back of the ambulance. You, can you get some help and go to each road junction that leads to this point and get it blocked off of the next junction up? You, get some help. What I want you to do is try and start sorting this crowd into two halves, injured and uninjured. Can you do that for me? Brilliant, right. You. Can you go through the uninjured and find anybody in there that's got any medical qualifications whatsoever and have them meet us over there in about eight minutes."

So what you are actually doing is you are making people task orientated. You are not asking, you are telling and if any of them decide that they do not want to do that, just do not engage with it, move on and re-task that task to someone else instead, because if you start to engage with them, you will start to lose momentum and you will start to lose control of the scene.