The Three C’s of an Emergency and the Three P’s of First Aid

Three C’s of an Emergency and Three P’s of First Aid


It can be difficult to think clearly in the midst of an emergency. Training your brain before you find yourself in a high-pressure situation may help you save a life or potentially help someone in pain. There are three basic C’s to remember—check, call, and care. When it comes to first aid, there are three P’s to remember—preserve life, prevent deterioration, and promote recovery.

The Three C’s of Emergency


Check means checking for anything unsafe. If the emergency is surrounded by danger, assistance may be needed. Rushing into a scene without taking in present dangers may lead to more harm for yourself or others. For example, if there a car wreck happens in a high traffic area or there is someone in need of help in a fire, you will need to seek assistance. Check the scene before entering it. Take the evolution of the scene. Next check if the victim is breathing. You may need to give specific care such as CPR.


In emergency situations, it’s important to call 911 immediately. As a first responder, act right away to get help from professionals. Inspect the scene, gather needed information—check for breathing and pulse from any victims, and any other helpful information. Provide correct information for local authorities and get them involved as soon as possible.


After checking the scene and calling for help, provide care until medical professionals arrive on the scene. Monitor the victims breathing. You may need to stop bleeding or perform CPR. Follow the circulation-airway-breathing of first aid.

The Three P’s of First Aid

Preserve Life

As a first responder to any situation, your first priority should be to preserve life. You may need to perform CPR, stop bleeding or take other action to preserve the victim’s life. Start with C-A-B—circulation, airway, and breathing. Asses the quality of the victim’s circulation, adjust if needed. Ensure that the victim has no blocks to their airway and that they are breathing. The goal is to prevent the condition from worsening in any way.

Prevent Deterioration

Do what you can to keep the victim in stable condition until medical professionals arrive. The goal is to prevent the condition from worsening and prevent any potential further injury. This may mean moving the victim to a safer location, applying first aid, stabilizing them, or just staying with the victim and providing comfort.

Promote Recovery

After you’ve done what you can do with first aid treatment, your job now is to promote recovery. This can be done by encouraging confidence, providing comfort, attempting to relieve pain, and so on.

These tips and tricks for emergency situations and first aid will likely differ based on your specific situation. But remembering the basics of what to do may help you save a life or prevent further pain. Know these simple steps before you find yourself in a situation where it’s hard to think clearly.