What to do when an accident happens

When an accident takes place on the mountain, either to you or one of your party, the most important thing to do is to remain calm, stop and think. If you are part of a group, ensure that the rest of the group is safe and remain calm.

If you need the
Emergency Services call
999 or 112

Before you address the casualty, remember the ABCs of immediate First Aid. Check that their airways are unrestricted, that they are breathing and that their heart is beating. If there are signs of bleeding, try to stem the flow of blood.

Every situation is different but you have to judge whether it is safer to move the casualty, yourself and the remainder of the party, or to remain in place. If you are going to move the casualty then you must be sure that you are capable of reaching safety, that you can find your way without getting lost and that the ground underfoot is safe for you.

If the injury is serious, then stay where you are, call the Emergency Services for help on 999 or 112, asking for the Gardaí and then Mountain Rescue. Give your location, or as close as possible, to the Emergency Services.

Keep the casualty, and yourself, as warm and comfortable as possible- shelter them from the wind and place the casualty on a dry, impermeable layer on the ground. You may have to wait for several hours for help, particularly if you are in a remote area. Do not move the casualty if you think that they may have suffered from a back, neck or head injury, unless it is life threatening.

Keep the casualty warm
and dry and call for help.

The Emergency Services will need to know what has happened, the nature of the injuries and the position of the incident.

Remember the ABC of first aid, airways, breathing and circulation. It may seem obvious but, in an emergency, you may focus on a visible minor injury like a small bleed whilst missing a life threatening but less obvious one like restricted breathing.