Quick Tip: The Walk-Around

Quick Tip: The Walk-Around

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Many times a walk-around is incorrectly used as an officer’s mental checknote like BSI/Scene safety. However, during the ‘walk’ there are many things that can be quickly completed to speed up the overall operations on scene. Let us look at just a few things that are completed on a good scene size-up/walk-around. Realize that this is just the quick officer walk-around and does not include operations that are completed simultaneously by other members such as stabilization, patient care, securing vehicle power, etc. After I drop my hydraulic tool on the tarp, here is an example of my quick ‘walk’.

  • Evaluate the scene for any obvious hazards (Hazmat, fuel, fire, slip, traffic)
  • Determine number of patients and medical status (Air Transport? Trauma Arrest? Stable?)
  • Assess level of entrapment
  • Extrication blanket placed over patient(s) and glass is taken on the working side via window punch
  • Vehicle pillars exposed to locate airbag cylinders and areas of post strength
  • Seatbelts cut (unless patient inverted)
  • Occupants seat moved horizontally and laid back prior to the battery being secured (electronic controls) by backstep firefighter
  • Underside of vehicle checked for fuel and additional patients
  • Patient status will dictate “Clean vs. dirty rescue” and extrication plan established


This quick walk-around will allow you to evaluate the overall scene so you can implement the best for plan for quick and efficient patient removal.