How to Report an Incident

When we call the Emergency Services, the call handler at the end of the line will be trained to prompt you for the information they require but sometimes we won't have the benefit of their skills and experience to help us: If we are reporting an incident via a third person then we must give them the information they will need to pass on and answer the Call handlers questions fully and accuratley.


  • You do not have telephone but are in radio contact with your Base Camp who have telephone communciation with the Emergency Services.
  • You are sending a 'runner' to find a signal so they can call for help on your behalf


The recording and reporting of information is of critical importance in the effective management of an Incident and any casualties involved.  Simple mnemonics focus our attention on the most important factors which helps ensure the most relevant information is communicated quickly and clearly.


ETHANE Reports

The ETHANE protocol has military roots and is intended to prompt the communicator to remember, or seek out, specific information prior to making the call.  The ETHANE protocol has significant merit as part of an internal Emergency Operating Procedure for organisations, whether industrial, urban or remote.

E  Exact Location:  In an urban setting this would be the room number and floor of the building and postcode.  In an remote setting an 8 figure grid reference or Latitude & Longitude.

T  Type of Incident:  industrial chemical, vehicle collision, drowning etc..

H  Hazards Both current and potential.   Terrain, Debris, Machinery, Fuel spill, Fire/Explosion risk, Weather etc. 

A   Access:  Best route to the scene following - or avoiding - particular features.

N  Number of Casualties:  Ideally following triage: Delayed, Urgent, Immediate or Dead.

E   Emergency Services:  Required and already present.


Reporting Casualty Information

It is essential that relevant and accurate patient information is handed over to either the ambulance or medical services at hospital.  A correct patient handover avoids unnecessary patient disturbance and provides the hospital with a complete picture when the casualty finally reaches the Accident and Emergency department.  The report needs to be clear and concise, yet transfer all relevant information.

The recommended format for giving a casualty report can be remembered by the use of the mnemonic ASH-ICE.

A Age

S Sex

H History - A brief description of the accident or incident including the mechanism of injury, if appropriate.

I Illness or injury - What are the main problems?

C Cause for concern - Which problem is threatening life?  Are there any other factors that will inhibit the progress of the rescuers or the recovery of the casualty?

E E.T.A. (Estimated time of arrival) - If you are transporting the casualty, how long will you take to get there?  If you are requesting help, ask for this information.

For example:

“48 year old male in 20 foot fall from height.  Head, facial and chest injuries.  Difficulty breathing.  Has received spinal immobilisation and currently on Oxygen at 15 Ltrs per minute. What is your ETA?”


Furthermore, the use of Casualty and Accident Cards are of significant benefit in larger or complex situation or where there is anticipated longer term care of the casualty before handover to emergency services.

We're redesigning our Casualty Cards at the moment and will be finished on waterproof, tearproof paper.  If you would like to receive the first copies for free, drop us an email here.


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