Q: We are going to prepare an action card for fire safety as part of our major emergency response plan. What information regarding fire safety would you suggest we include on the Emergency Response job action card?
A: Emergency response preparedness (i.e. Emergency Preparedness) involves many different aspects, including fire safety. In order to write a job action sheet (or job action card) for fire safety, I would suggest that you utilize your basic fire response plan for the internal portion of emergency preparedness. Many hospitals utilize the familiar acronym RACE to help remind their staff as to the organization’s fire response plan:
- R = Rescue anyone in harm’s way of the fire
- A = Activate the alarm by pulling the manual fire alarm station and dialing______
- C = Contain the fire by closing all the doors
- E = Extinguish the fire with portable extinguishers, OR Evacuate patients from the scene of the fire
For external fires, a job action sheet may include some (or all) of the following:
- Shutting down all of the fresh-air intakes for the hospital’s ventilation system.
- Placing boards on windows
- Taking pro-active action and wetting-down combustible portions of the facilities or grounds
- Possible relocating patients from one wing or area to another
- Emptying parking lots and garages which are close to the hospital
- Possible evacuation of hospital
- Re-directing traffic away from the hospital
- Controlling access to the Emergency Department
- Suspending shift change and proceeding to a 12 hour on/12 hour off rotation