Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


For Bachelor of Paramedicine: PARA210 Paramedic Theory: Medical 2 and PARA211 Paramedic Practice: Medical 2

For Bachelor of Nursing/Bachelor of Paramedicine: PARA213 Paramedic Theory and Practice: Medical 2

Teaching organisation

150 hours of focused learning.

Unit rationale, description and aim

While large-scale mass casualty incidents are infrequent in Australia, the impact of such events can be catastrophic to the individual and the community. It is a requirement that the paramedic is able to link theory with practice and perform managerial and clinical duties specific to large-scale mass casualty events. To perform these skills well, the paramedic must possess an in-depth knowledge of major incident preparedness, management and response principles. The unit focuses on theoretical and practical aspects of major incident/disaster mass casualty incidents.

Located in the third/final year of the programme, this unit integrates the principles and procedures of major incident and disaster medical response and management. The focus will be on the implementation of major incident response plans for a large scale multi-casualty incidents and principles of risk assessment and minimisation will be applied. This unit will also explore scene control and the management of complex events requiring the support of other emergency agencies and application of triage principles where resources are limited.

The aim of this unit is to assist students to achieve an advanced knowledge of major incident/disaster preparedness, management and response to ensure the optimal outcomes for patients and enhance the professional practice of paramedics.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

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

LO1 - Define major incident, disaster, mass casualty and multi-casualty incident (GA5)

LO2 - Describe the emergency services’ roles and responsibilities in a major incident and the principles of command and control (GA3)

LO3 - Examine the principles of effective communications in a multi-casualty environment (GA4, GA5, GA7, GA9)

LO4 - Identify risk assessment strategies (GA6)

LO5 - Apply the principles of effective primary and secondary triage (GA4, GA7)

LO6 - Discuss the major psychological and sociological effects of major incidents and the principles of the disaster management cycle (GA5, GA10)

Graduate attributes

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.

Paramedicine Board of Australia Professional Capabilities for Registered Paramedics

Website of capabilities:

Standard/Attributes/CriteriaLearning Outcomes

3.2, 3.3, 5.3, 5.5


1.1, 2.1, 2.,2, 3.2, 3.3, 5.3, 5.5


1.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 5.3, 5.5


1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.5, 4.6, 5.2, 5.3, 5.5, 5.6


1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.5, 4.6, 5.2, 5.3, 5.5, 5.6


3.2, 3.3, 5.3, 5.4 5.5



Topics will include:

  • Multi-casualty
  •    Scene management
  •    Multiagency roles and responsibilities
  •    Triage
  •    Treatment
  •    Transportation
  •    Regulatory frameworks
  •    Communication
  •    Debriefing / psychological factors
  • Scene assessment / risk minimisation and management 
  • Risk assessment matrix
  • Disaster management cycle 
  •  Planning, preparation, response, recovery
  • Navigation and map reading
  •    Principles of navigation
  •    Compass and compass bearings
  •    Maps, coordinates and (global position system (GPS)
  • The Emergo Train System 

Specific Skills

  • Scene management
  •    Scene organisation
  • Triage
  •    Primary triage 
  •    Secondary triage
  • Communications
  •    Radio use
  •    Situation report
  • Navigation and map reading
  •    Navigation using a map and compass
  •    Navigation using a street directory
  • Emergo Train simulation

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Modes of delivery in this unit include tutorials, practical laboratories, online activities and self-directed study. Consistent with adult learning principles, the teaching and learning strategies used within these modes of delivery will provide students with advanced knowledge and skills relevant to professional paramedic practice. These strategies will also support students in meeting the aim, learning outcomes and graduate attributes of the unit and the broader course learning outcomes. Learning and teaching strategies will reflect respect for the individual as an independent learner. Students will be expected to take responsibility for their learning and to participate actively with peers. 

Located in the third/final year of the programme, this unit includes significant face-to-face teaching hours during which clinical case scenarios and critical thinking activities are used to assist students in linking theory with practice. Tutorials and computer assisted learning deliver content and its central principles through interactive sessions which assist students in applying the theory to clinical practice. Practical laboratories provide the opportunity to consider and apply content more interactively and enhance the students’ conceptual understanding.

Students will be presented with a selection of case scenarios and critical thinking activities that will guide the learning of the unit. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

A range of assessment tasks consistent with University assessment requirements will be used to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes. 

The portfolio engages final year students with their pending practice environment. It evaluates key knowledge and practice underpinning major incident/disaster preparedness, management and response and its application within paramedic practice which will direct future practice as a paramedic. 

The online quiz evaluates knowledge and understanding critical to the management of complex, large-scale incidents.

The written assessment engages students with their pending practice environment and extends knowledge and understanding of issues specific to the management mass casualty major incidents.

These assessments are required to build student knowledge which, by the conclusion of this programme, will allow the student to graduate as a safe and effective paramedic.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Multimedia Portfolio

Enables students to showcase their learning experiences in a professional manner ensuring that documentation meets the professional and legal requirements for practice.


LO1, LO2, LO4, LO6

GA4, GA5, GA6, GA9, GA10

Online Quiz

Enables students to demonstrate their understanding of major incident/disaster scene control, command and the preparedness for the management of large-scale complex events requiring the application of triage principles and the support of other emergency agencies.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5, LO6

GA4, GA5, GA7, GA9, GA10

Written Assignment

Enables students to demonstrate their understanding of major incident management principles and practice for management of complex, large-scale events requiring an all hazards approach and inter-service interoperability.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5, LO6

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA9

Representative texts and references

Ambulance Victoria (2016). Ambulance Victoria clinical practice guidelines for Ambulance and MICA paramedics.Doncaster: Ambulance Victoria.

Geoscience Australia (2016) Map reading guide: how to use topographic maps. (4th ed.). Commonwealth of Australia (Geoscience Australia) Retrieved from 

Mackway-Jones, K., & Carley, S (Eds). (2012). Major incident medical management and support: The practical approach at the scene (3rd ed.). Chichester, West Sussex : Wiley-Blackwell. 

Queensland Ambulance Service (2017). Clinical Practice Manual. Brisbane: Queensland Ambulance Service. Retrieved from

Sanders, M. J. (2012). Mosby’s paramedic textbook (4th ed.). St Louis, MO.: Mosby.

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