START: Triage tags for an MCI
Name: Div. Chief Jim Sideras, Sioux Falls (SD) Fire Rescue
Most triage tags are designed to be used with the START system by classifying patients into four areas: Red (Immediate), Yellow (Delayed), Green (Minor) and Black (Dead). Your priority — or tactical benchmark — for an MCI should be to identify and move the most immediate patients first. These patients would be identified as Red under the START system, making them easy and quick to identify.
Ensure that everyone in your system is using the same triage tags. Although there may only be subtle differences between makers of tags, keeping everything the same decreases the potential for mistakes in a high-stress environment. Some states, South Dakota for one, have adopted the same triage tag for all agencies. Grant funding can help purchase tags for organizations that lack funds to purchase them on their own.