Major Incidents

Unit code: HFB3226 | Study level: Undergraduate
(Generally, 1 credit = 10 hours of classes and independent study.)
St Albans
HFB3134 - Paramedic Clinical Practice 5
(Or equivalent to be determined by unit coordinator)


This unit focuses on the evidence based theory and practice of major incident and mass casualty management and recovery and provides students with the opportunity to apply and integrate knowledge and skills gained from earlier years. Students will work autonomously and in teams to research, plan and execute several simulated incidents culminating in a large scale mass casualty major incident event. The theoretical component of the unit will cover the history of major incidents, disaster medical response, 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 and mass casualty is also considered. This unit will also include an introduction into planetary health, health sustainability and impacts of climate change of health and health provision. The focus is primarily on the prehospital emergency medicine response to a major incident and mass casualty event and the interaction of paramedics with other emergency staff and support agencies.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Investigate principles of command and control, the Incident Command System (ICS) and triage of patients, and apply to major incident management principles;
  2. Critically review and apply the main elements of state, national and international major incident and disaster policies, and the emergency services response to a major incident;
  3. Conceptually map medical service major incident planning, risk-assessment, preparation, response, coordination and recovery in the context of a multi-disciplinary and multi-agency major incident response; and
  4. Predict and formulate strategies for addressing prevalent major psychological and sociological effects following a major incident including survival, bereavement, and post-traumatic stress.


For Melbourne campuses

Assessment type: Test
Grade: 10%
MCQ Assessment (45 mins)
Assessment type: Assignment
Grade: 40%
Group Assignment: Major Incident Workbook and Concept Map (2000 words)
Assessment type: Case Study
Grade: 50%
Case Study Analysis (2 hours)

Required reading

Required readings will be made available on VU Collaborate.

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following course(s):

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