Casualty figures can vary

September 10, 2019

(To watch the video with sign language interpretation, click here.)


When handling multiple casualty incidents, it is not uncommon for there to be a difference between the number of casualties in the initial assessment and the final assessment, Fire Services Department Senior Assistant Chief Ambulance Officer Lo Shun-tong said today.


Mr Lo was commenting on the August 31 incident at MTR Prince Edward Station during a press conference with Police, Hospital Authority and MTR Corporation representatives.


“When the ambulance incident officer entered the station, there were dozens of people there other than police officers and firefighters. The situation was chaotic at that time.


“The ambulance incident officer tried to assess the number of injured persons, but found that they were at different locations of the platform, which also changed from time to time, making it rather difficult to conduct a headcount.”


He added that after a preliminary check, the ambulance incident officer estimated there were 10 injured people at the scene and reported it to the Fire Services Communications Centre (FSCC) for organising reinforcements.


“At a later time, when reinforcements entered the station through another entrance where an elevator was available, they provided initial treatment to the injured persons who were then triaged and assembled at a designated location.


“At this point, the ambulance incident officer conducted another headcount of casualties and confirmed that there was a total of seven injured persons at the scene that needed to be conveyed to the hospital for treatment.”


Mr Lo pointed out that sometimes people may later indicate they do not need the ambulance service.


“Some people in an incident may indicate the need for ambulance service at the initial stage, but after the initial treatment and assessment, those people may indicate that no ambulance service is required.


“That is why it is not uncommon in handling multiple casualty incidents that there may be a difference between the number of casualties in the initial assessment and the final assessment.”

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