Conclusion: Perspectives on Mass Casualty Incident
Mass Casualty Incident Management course provided you with the tools to form a strategy for success in mass casualty
events. To survive, one must plan strategies and design a disaster plan within a concept of the worst case scenario.
There are ten major principle of surviving a mass casualty event that can be expressed as questions institutional and
organizational planners must ask:
What could possible happen to me during the disaster?
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What are the things that I will run out of?
What don’t I have here, or what can’t I make here, and where can I get it?
What resources must be generated, created, or substituted, and how?
What do I need to salvage, and how will I accomplish it?
How long do I have to survive before I can expect help?
What will I need for each season, even if I am not in that season yet?
How do I secure what I have? Whom can I trust?
Who will share what I need and return for what they need?
How can I think outside the box to make creative solutions?
Relying on government support to guide planners and responders through a Mass Casualty Incident is unpractical and
unfair to government agencies. Government should not be expected to provide the initial support during a Mass
Casualty Incident as the provision of the resources on such a massive scale requires far too much mobilization to be of
use in the initial phases of the event, when the majority of the mitigation strategies must be enacted.
A true leader in a disaster scenario must be prepared to trust gut instincts, which are gained through education,
research, and experience; The leaders cannot be bogged down by tradition and rules. Such a narrow focus and
perspective would be incredibly counterproductive. A disaster has never read the textbook. It has no responsibility to
act logically or predictably. Therefore, one must learn to think outside the box, be a “meta-leader”, or to be creative
enough to find solutions to problems that arise from the particular circumstances presented and the resources
Another extremely important concept is the need to consider the casualties first and the ego second. Arrogance is the
greatest enemy of a disaster manager because it limits the options that might be considered. With an overindulgent
ego, the manager or leader cannot be free to rethink a disadvantageous position and backtrack toward another path.
The person in charge should not hesitate to listen to others who may be able to provide another viewpoint, bringing
issues to the table that may not have been considered before based on their own peculiar knowledge or experiences.
Ego is often hard to overcome because it is a defense mechanism of personnel that are called to help regularly and
have success through their normal training. Mass Casualty events do not occur regularly and it removes disaster
responders and medical professionals from their comfort zone. Continually reading case studies and current research
will prepare the disaster responder to operate outside of their comfort zone due to their methodical thinking process.