Remember these useful guidelines in the event of an incident:
1. Stay Calm. Take time to assess the situation and decide what to do.
2. Safeguard. What should be done immediately to safeguard yourself and the rest of your group?
3. Treat Injuries. If anyone is injured, remember ABC – airway, breathing and circulation (signs of life/blood loss). Remember the first principle ‘do no harm’.
4. Comfort & Shelter. Insulate casualty from the ground, add extra clothing. Place any unconscious casualties in the ‘safe-airway position’ and shelter them from the elements as best you can.
5. Location. Determine your exact position on the map and consider the options for:
- Descending to safety. What will the terrain be like? How far to reach safety? Are you sure you can carry the casualty? Will the casualty’s injuries be made worse by travelling?
- Finding shelter. Don’t use up valuable time and energy unless you are sure about finding shelter.
- Staying put. Will your situation be resolved if you stay where you are?
- Seeking help. Remember that even when a rescue team has been alerted, help might not arrive for several hours.
6. Get Help. If you decide you need help and you are calling from a mobile phone, phone 999/112 and ask for GARDAÍ and MOUNTAIN RESCUE.
7. Be Ready. You may be asked to provide the following information:
- Location of the incident (grid reference, map sheet number, name of mountain area and description of the terrain).
- Number and names of people in the party and their condition.
- Any injuries and names of casualties.
- Telephone number of the phone you are using and any other phones in the group.
- The nature and time of the incident – what happened and when?
- Weather conditions including wind speed and visibility at the accident site.
- Equipment which is at the accident site (warm clothing, group shelter etc)
- Any distinguishing feature/marker/colour at the accident site.
- Location of where you are phoning from – if different from accident site.
8. Conserve Your Battery. Try to conserve battery life by having all the details to hand before phoning. If mobile reception is poor and you are unsuccessful dialling 999, try the alternative emergency number of 112. If this fails, try sending an SMS text to a friend.