Anyone with the potential to work with mass casualties should at minimum be trained in the Incident Command System (ICS) and Mass Casualty Triage.
A. Incident Command System (ICS)
ICS is defined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as follows:
"ICS is a standardized on-scene incident management concept designed specifically to allow responders to adopt an integrated organizational structure equal to the complexity and demands of any single incident or multiple incidents without being hindered by jurisdictional boundaries."
ICS is a nationally accepted method to respond to both small and large-scale incidents, using standardized terminology and roles. This is important so that multiple agencies working together at an incident will be able to communicate effectively and know each other's capabilities.
The basic ICS structure is depicted in this diagram:
B. MCI Triage
MCI triage differs greatly from routine single patient triage. When conducting routine triage, there is ample time to assess the patient and perform an in-depth interview which may also involve vital signs, lab work or x-ray studies. In contrast, MCI Triage requires a rapid assessment so that all victims may be prioritized and treated quickly.
Take the interactive course from the DelValle Institute to learn more about MCI triage.