"CRUCIFORM"® Emergency Documentation

System Overview

The purpose of the "Cruciform"® Emergency Documentation System is to provide, in one box, a method of relaying information about the dead and injured, from the scene of an incident to the final destination. It can be used by any individual, rescuer organisation, or service involved in handling the victims, at the scene, during transportation or in hospital. The card can be used to sieve and/or to sort victims and to mark the scene, identify records, personal possessions, an associated child/close relative and even separated body parts. It is also usable by Victims Bureau staff or police liaison officers at hospitals and/or temporary facilities/body stores. It will provide a verifiable link between victim and possessions, which may have been bagged up for forensic examination in the event of contamination, explosive incident or other actual or potentially criminal acts. Fire service staff will find it useful for decontamination incidents where victims need to be unclothed and decontaminated and their bag of clothing and other possession identified.

The CBRN-E "Flags" will enable rescuers to "flag" up anyone who may have been contaminated by any of these agents so anyone dealing with that victim subsequently is made aware of a potential problem in treatment and/or handling.

The card is divided into several modules, and any one or any combination may be used for each victim, depending on the skill and training levels of the rescuers and the other circumstances prevailing at the time. The card is packed with the red panel showing so that the victims with the greatest perceived urgency for evacuation/transport or treatment can be identified and highlighted first. The Triage Sieve and Casualty Estimate document, also included in the box, can be used at a multiple victim incident to rapidly prioritise injured victims using medically valid assessment criteria. The colour/number module can also be used by the police or fire service personnel, to identify persons for evacuation to/from specified locations, even if uninjured or uncontaminated.

The box of cards should be kept available in a bulkhead locker, emergency box/case, patrol car boot or other convenient place. Boxes of cards kept in a locked store back at the base or other fixed location are of little use to the rescuer on scene. The cards should be used routinely. Routine use will ensure familiarity with the contents of each module and that, in the event of a larger scale incident, users are comfortable with the system.

The Cruciform® system should be introduced to colleagues in immediate care medical schemes, local authority emergency planning offices and other emergency services, including the military and air/sea/mountain rescue organisations. In that way, they too will understand how it works and how they could use or add to the information it contains. This joint use will enhance partnership working.


  • Accident and Emergency staff including triage nurses
  • Ambulance technicians
  • Coastguard, lifeboat and mountain rescue staff
  • Emergency physicians
  • Emergency planners in Local Authorities
  • Fire service personnel
  • First aid staff at sporting grounds or events
  • Immediate care doctors
  • Industrial first aid staff
  • Military medics
  • Offshore medics
  • Paramedics
  • Police (including MOD and British Transport Police)
  • Voluntary aid organisation personnel (St John, Red Cross, St Andrew’s)

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