Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

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Evacuation Plans and Procedures eTool

Emergency Action Plan Fire, Rescue, and Medical Services

Fire, Rescue, and Medical Services

Although most of us quickly move away from the hazardous environments created during emergency situations, a group of dedicated and well-trained professional emergency responders and medical service personnel are tasked with containing and mitigating these incidents, rescuing individuals at-risk, and providing medical assistance to the injured.

Unless you are a large employer handling hazardous materials and processes or have employees regularly working in hazardous situations, you will probably choose to rely on local public resources to provide these specialized services. If you choose to use external departments or agencies, such as the local fire and police departments, medical clinics or hospitals, and ambulance services, make sure they are prepared to respond as outlined in your plan. For example:

  • Have members of the local fire department conduct a walk-through of your workplace so they are familiar with the layout and any potential hazards.
  • Establish a relationship with a local ambulance service so transportation is readily available for emergencies.
  • Make arrangements with near by medical clinics or other facilities to handle emergency cases and to provide medical and first-aid services to employees.
  • If an infirmary, clinic, or hospital is not close to your workplace, ensure that onsite person(s) have adequate first-aid training. The American Red Cross, some insurance providers, local safety councils, fire departments, or other sources may be able to provide this training. Treatment of a serious injury should begin within three to four minutes of the accident. Consult with a physician or other professional to order appropriate first-aid supplies for emergencies.
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