National Association of Rescue Divers

The Postmortem

The postmortem is an ''official'' meeting to discuss what happened at an incident. All personnel involved should be invited to attend. The final maps of the scene should be made and the position of every unit marked. Cover everything that happened one step at a time starting with when the call was received. If it can be done get a copy of the radio traffic during the operation, this may help. Find out who said what, when, and why.

This is where there is no brass or press. What ever is said at the postmortem stays in the room afterwards. The purpose is to better the team. If something went wrong, work it out. If the police, EMS or fire units, have any complaints, air them out. Do not harbor ill feelings against someone or some unit or team. Everyone should be able to speak their mind without fear of retribution. This is not to imply that all a postmortem is, is a gripe session, it is not. However if things go bad find out why and express it, then correct it. There is always room for improvement. If everything went perfect, then the postmortem will be quick and easy. The most important thing to remember when conducting a postmortem is to have an outline of what will be covered and sick with it. Do not let discussion get out of hand. The purpose is to go over the last operation not complain about everything wrong in the world. Keep control. Remember the postmortem is a tool.

National Association of Rescue Divers



P.O. Box 590474, Houston, Texas 77259-0474

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