What Are the 3 C’s When Dealing with an Emergency?



The three C’s represent the mnemonic technique that should help people who administer first aid. They are meant to help these first aiders remember the course of action and their sequence so they can provide the best possible first aid. The first C’s are:

  • Check
  • Call
  • Care

Check: For the first aid to be administered successfully, the patient, first aider and the present people should be out of the influence of the hazard that has caused the injuries.

Moreover, you should check for the safety of you, patient and the others. This can include removing the victim from the traffic or putting out the fire, providing the airflow and eliminating toxic fumes, etc.

Call: One of the primary functions of the first aid is to actually give the victim enough time and prolonging their life until the ambulance arrives. For that to happen, the ambulance needs to be called. As soon as you assess the surrounding, you need to call the 111 and talk to the operator explaining the specifics of the situation and answering their questions accurately and directly.

Care: The first two C’s are actually the preparation for the main course of action – providing medical assistance. This is where you actually start administering care to the patient. In some cases, it will simply mean dressing a wound, but it can also mean monitoring a person’s breathing and pulse, giving them CPR and even shocking them with AED.

For the most steps of the third C: Care, you will need special supplies. The first aid supplies are packed in the first aid kits. Every workplace should have at least one. Rent your workplace kits from Alsco NZ and make the Care step much easier for your first aiders.

For instance, did you know that floor-to-ceiling cubicle doors can seriously compromise safety and make the checking and caring for the injured person impossible?

You should be aware of hazards such as this especially if you work in a school or other crowded environment.

Learn how to make your school washroom safe and healthy with our ultimate guide.

What Are the Steps in Assessing an Emergency Situation?

Once you find yourself in an emergency situation, you need to assess it quickly, especially if you notice that there are one or more people injured. Don’t rely on the other people to be responding, because this does not always happen. Look around and do the following three steps of assessing the situation:

  • Assess the situation
  • Assess the environment
  • Assess the patient

Assessing the situation – this means establishing what is going on, if there are injured people and what are other people doing. You will notice that many people react to emergencies by freezing. In many cases, the bystanders will do nothing to help the person in trouble. That is why you should react instantly if you see that somebody is hurt. If you need help from the others, give them precise directions about what to do and they will most likely follow them.

Assessing the environment – this is the moment when you need to see what caused the injury to the patient and if they are still in the same danger. Moreover, you need to take care of yourself and the others, also. You, as the first aid provider are useful to the patient only if not injured yourself, so do everything in your power to stay safe.

Assess the patient – check the patient’s pulse, breathing and airways. Those are the three things that you need to do if the person is unconscious. If you are not sure if the person is conscious, shake them and call them like you would if you were waking them up from a deep sleep. If they are not responsive, go for the pulse and breathing.

  • Check for the breathing by laying the person on the back and observing if their chest is moving. Place your hand on their chest to closely feel the possible motion. Move your cheek next to their nose and mouth and try to feel their breath.
  • Check the airways by raising the patient’s jaw and tilting their head back so you can see the inside of their mouth. If you see something, turn the patient to their side and unblock the airways.
  • Checking the pulse is best done by placing the index and middle finger on the carotid artery which is next to the windpipe.

What Is the First Thing You Should Do If a Person Is Unconscious and Not Breathing?

When you see a person without consciousness and not breathing, you still need to check their breathing and try to wake them up. This should not last long. Establish the lack of consciousness and breathing by taking the following steps:

  • Call or ask somebody to call 111
  • Check the airways and unblock them if necessary
  • Start CPR

While administering the CPR, ask somebody to give you AED and use it on the person. Don’t worry, the AED will not administer the shock if there is no heart rate or the heart rate is regular.

What Do You Do If Someone Has a Pulse but Is Not Breathing?

If the person has a pulse, but they are not breathing, it is possible that their airways are blocked and need to be unblocked. If that is not the case, start the “rescue breathing” until the ambulance arrives.

Positioned them on their back and start with the “rescue breathing”. This is different to the CPR because, during the CPR, you are pressing the patient’s chest, while when performing the “rescue breathing” you are only blowing the air into the patient’s mouth, but without the compressions.

You should tilt the patient’s head, pinch their nose, and open their mouth. By positioning your mouth on theirs, slowly breathe in the air. This should be done once every 5 or 6 seconds.

How Do You Give a Defibrillator Shock?

While you are going for the first aid kit, or calling the 111, grab the nearest AED in your workplace and have it handy. AED in combination with the CPR gives the best chances for survival to the person who is unconscious and has an irregular heartbeat. Defibrillator shock is given in a couple of steps:

  1. Position the person on their back
  2. Open their shirt
  3. Wipe them dry if necessary
  4. Place the AED pads, one above the right nipple and other slightly to the left side of the chest.
  5. Make sure nobody is touching the victim
  6. Press the start button
  7. Continue CPR when the AED informs you it is safe to do so

Both AED and the first aid kit are the first aid equipment that can mean the difference between life and death in the emergency situation.

Alsco NZ can rent you the first aid kits and the AEDs for a flat annual price. For the same price, we will regularly make sure that they are working properly. We will fill the cabinets when the supplies are used and we will make sure they are all up to date.

Get your first aid kits and AEDs from Alsco NZ today.


Photo courtesy of Max Pixel

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