This paper forms part of a larger research agenda focusing on research regarding triage by a first aider or a first responder (i.e., non-health care professionals) in the mass gathering event context.

Background: Previously published triage tools for use at mass gathering events (MGE) lack real-world validation. Non-health care professionals, such as first aiders, first responders, and advanced responders often undertake a triage role at MGEs. This research aimed to determine consistency in the decision-making of a MGE triage tool.

Method: Volunteer members of St John Ambulance Australia were recruited. Surveys included participant demographics and real-world clinical vignettes. Participants determined a triage category based on the vignettes and supplied triage tool. Demographics were analysed using descriptive statistics and responses to vignettes were analysed using Fleiss Kappa [p-bar].

Results: There were 110 participants, the majority male (60%), having completed a Bachelor or higher degree (53.6%), and were non-health care professionals (70%). Of the vignettes, there was a slightly better than moderate agreement (items: 18, p-bar: 0.55). There was an excellent level of agreeance for the resuscitation category (items: 3, b-par 0.69), and moderate level of agreeance for the urgent (items: 10, b-par 0.52) and minor (items: 5, b-par 0.52) categories.

Conclusions: This research demonstrated similar findings to that of emergency department triage tool validation. Multi-country, multi-site, multi-type, real-world testing at MGEs is the next step to progress the development of this tool.


Ranse J, Cannon M, Roitman R, Morphet J. (2020) Using clinical based vignettes to further develop a mass-gathering triage tool. Australasian Journal of Emergency Care.