During an Emergency: Response

During an Emergency: Response

The 7 Steps of Accident response will serve you well.

The Seven Steps for Accident Response

from Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills

  1. Take Charge of the Situation 
  2. Approach the Patient Safely 
  3. Perform Emergency Rescue and Urgent First Aid. DO NOT MOVE THE PATIENT AGAIN UNTIL STEP 7!
  4. Protect the Patient. DO NOT MOVE THE PATIENT TO END EXPOSURE TO HEAT, COLD OR WEATHER but build shelter around them. 
  5. Check for Other Injuries 
  6. Plan What to Do 
  7. Carry Out the Plan

General Accident Response

  • Stay calm – take charge of situation, work with designated first aid person.
  • Utilize the entire group; organize and assign individuals to do certain tasks
  • Elicit individual expertise (medical, climbing, hiking, kayaking, etc.).
  • Don’t let anyone leave unless you’ve assigned them to go get help, and no one should be solo - your obligation is to the whole group, not just the injured person.
  • Be careful that another accident does not occur. 

Lost Hiker Response

  • Determine when hiker was last seen.
  • Plan a search party – don’t send any one out alone; no one should be waiting alone while group searches.
  • Designate a time and place to reassemble all search groups.
  • If hiker is not found, call 911 to contact the local sheriff or park ranger.

After any rescue initiated, contact the Mountaineers via emergency line: 206-521-6030


Definitions: Categories used in Mountaineer Incident Reports 

Major Incidents

Emergency medical attention or a call to any search and rescue organization or 911 where emergency personnel responded to the incident.

Significant Incidents

Non-emergency medical attention or a call to any search and rescue organization or 911 where emergency personnel response was not needed, such as meeting an overdue party at the trailhead.

Minor Incidents

Anything else unexpected, which could be an injury not requiring medical attention, a near miss, problem with equipment, party split, or anything that concerned you or participants in this event.