Lesson 3 What to do in an emergency

In an emergency, you must identify priorities. These priorities are to:

  • 1. assess the situation – do not put yourself in danger;
  • 2. make the area safe;
  • 3. assess all persons and first assist any unconscious people;
  • 4. call for help without delay.

Scenario- case of an emergency

So, let's consider a hypothetical scenario: While you're working in street cleaning, your colleague falls unconscious on the ground. What should you do?

First you must check for a response. Gently shake his/her shoulders and ask loudly, ‘Are you all right?

If there is no response, your actions should be prioritized as follows:

  1. Call for help

  2. Open his airway

  3. Check for normal breathing

  4. Take appropriate action

  • You can use your mobile phone to call the country’s emergency number for an ambulance.


  • In order to open someone’s airway, place the person on their back on a firm, flat surface.
  • Place your hand on the person’s forehead and gently tilt the head back. Then, lift the chin with your two fingertips.
  • After opening his/her airway, look, listen and feel for normal breathing for no more than 10 seconds. To do so:
    • look for chest movement
    • listen at person’s mouth for breathing sounds
    • feel for air on your cheek
  • If your co-worker is breathing normally:
    • place in the recovery position;
    • get help;
    • check for continued breathing.
  • If your co-worker is not breathing normally, it is crucial to get help immediately and start chest compressions (see CPR next slide).