Backcountry Incident Management & First Aid Resources and Procedures

Backcountry Incident Management School Backcountry Incident Management & First Aid Resources and Procedures “Bringing Order to a Chaotic Situation”

So, you are out doing your typical day hike when suddenly you discover one of your trip participants is missing.  What do you do now?

For those of you familiar with the previous version of the trip leader Incident Management Cards, you will find this new card set has more clear suggestions as to what to do, allows technology you may have available to be better utilized, and aligns terminology with the Wilderness First Aid textbook.

As a new backcountry incident unfolds, the cards will remind the trip leader (aka the Incident Manager) to verify the accident site is safe for the participants, outline the immediate first aid steps that should be taken to attend to the injured party, provide a sequence of longer term first aid steps while monitoring the patient, organize a team that can effectively get help, and a final team that can be prepared to establish shelter should the group need to hunker down for a while.

If your incident instead involves a missing hiker, the cards will suggest a managed process to facilitate a quick search, and if needed, a lengthier search.  Should you need SAR involvement, the cards will outline specifics to be collected to help them better organize and perform their search. 

For those of you that enroll in the Backcountry Incident Management School during its summer sessions, these cards will act as the on-site “textbook” you will use to work through the field day scenarios.  For more information on the BIM School please visit the homepage at:

Backcountry Incident Management School - Denver — The Colorado Mountain Club (

or contact Rich McAdams ( refer to “BIM School” in the subject line.

As you might suspect, the Colorado Mountain Club strongly encourages trip leaders to carry a set of these cards as part of their first aid kit, then put them to use should the unexpected happen.

Primary Set of IM Cards:

Click here for the Complete Set of Incident Management Cards Although each card can be downloaded and printed individually, those print outs will be on 8x11 paper, and one-sided.  Here is a pdf file that will print the entire card set on the appropriately sized paper, with the appropriate colors, and two-sided.

Note: There will be two copies of the Medical Report Record as that is the card the First Aid Team will use to document patient vitals.  Once all cards print, cut and fold as appropriate:

  1. Open PDF file. 
  2. Within the PDF file select the Print option in the tool bar. 
  3. Within the Print menu, configure your printer as follows: 
  • 8.5x11 inch paper 
  • Print on both sides of paper (or two-sided), specify either:
        Print two sided (flip on long edge) 
        Print both sides (flip on long edge) 
  •  Select Print.

Supplemental IM Cards.  Information only: