The capstone unit is the culminating experience of the student's paramedic program and provides students with the opportunity to apply and integrate their knowledge and skills gained from earlier years. This unit focuses on the theory and practice of major incident management and recovery. Students will research, scope, design, plan and execute a simulated major incident event. Students will work autonomously and in teams to simulate and ultimately facilitate the pre-hospital management of both the scene and simulated patients. The theoretical component of the unit will cover the history of major incidents, principles of major incident planning, preparation, response and recovery. The roles, responsibilities and communications of emergency services and the sociological and psychological impacts of major incidents, including epidemics, pandemics, terrorism/bioterrorism and natural disasters involving major incidents is also considered. The focus is primarily on the prehospital emergency medicine response to a major incident and the interaction of paramedics with other emergency staff and support agencies is addressed.

Unit details

Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:


HFB3134 - Paramedic Clinical Practice 5

HFB3135 - Paramedic Clinical Science 5 (Special Populations)

HFB3130 - Paramedic Clinical Science 4 (Mental Health and Mental Illness)

Prerequisite is not applicable to HBPA students. Prerequisite HBPX is HFB 3134 Prerequisite HBPD is HFB3134, HFB3135, HFB3130

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Analyse the principles of risk assessment and major incident planning, preparation, and coordination;  
  2. Adapt and apply the main elements of the national major incident and disaster policy and the roles of the emergency services response to a major incident which includes police, fire, ambulance, health, state emergency service and other support agencies;  
  3. Conceptually map medical service major incident planning, preparation, response and recovery in the context of a multi-disciplinary and multi-agency major incident response;  
  4. Report on the principles of major incident management including principles of command and control, the Incident Command System (ICS) and triage of patients;  
  5. Predict and formulate strategies for addressing prevalent major psychological and sociological effects following a major incident including survival, bereavement, and post-traumatic stress;  
  6. Demonstrate practical applications of the prehospital emergency medicine response in simulated major incident scenarios.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Other On campus students: Workbook (2000 words) 20%
Other On campus students: Tutorial exercises 30%
Examination On campus students: Final examination (2 hours duration plus 15 minutes reading time) 50%
Other Online students (see below for assessment weighting): Tutorial exercises/online discussions 0%
Assignment Online students:(see below for assessment weighting): Written (assignment 2000 words) 0%
Students are expected to attempt all pieces of assessment and must obtain an aggregate score of 50% in order to successfully complete the unit of study. For HBPX and HBPD (on campus students): Assessment item 1, 2 and 3 only are applicable. For HBPA (on-line) degree conversion students: Assessment items 4 and 5 only are applicable. Assessment item 4 contributes to 40% of total grade and assessment item 5 contributes to 60% of the final grade for HBPA degree conversion students.

Required reading

Further readings and references and/or their links will be provided by the Lecturer via VU Collaborate.

Major incident medical management and support 6th ed.
Hodgetts, T.J., & Mackway Jones, K. (2014)
London, BMJ Books

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This unit is studied as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to apply for the course.

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