How To Safely Carry Someone Out of An Emergency Situation

How to Carry Someone out of an Emergency Situation

If a fire starts or another emergency occurs in a hospital, patients and employees alike may need to relocate or evacuate. But what if a patient is unconscious, injured, or otherwise unable to move? If so, you might employ rescue drag and carry techniques


Why are patient carry techniques important?

It’s more difficult than you may think to carry a patient, especially if they’re unconscious. Knowing how to carry a patient in an emergency enables you to act efficiently and quickly. It’s important to use patient carry techniques for both the patient’s safety and your own.


What are the different types of drags and carries?

There are many different ways to carry someone out of an emergency. The method you select might depend on the number of people around to help, the patient’s weight, how quickly you need to move, and more. 


Let’s go over some of the common carrying techniques


1 Person Carries:

  • Pack Strap Carry: Have the patient sit up if they’re able to. The patient should place their arms over your shoulders and hang on as you carefully stand up and carry them out. If the patient is unconscious, you can instead cross their arms, grab their wrists, and place their arms over your shoulders to drag the patient off the bed and carry them out.


  • Hip Carry: First roll the patient onto their side and bend their legs at the knees. Take a seat on the edge of the bed next to the patient. Then, reach behind you to grab the patient from underneath the knees and underneath the far shoulder. Once you’re able to lift them, stand up, lean forward, and carry the patient on your hip.
  • Cradle Drop: Lower the bed if possible and place a towel, sheet, or blanket on the floor beside the bed. Gently drag the patient off the bed, onto your knee, then onto the blanket. Then, fold the blanket at the corners near the patient’s head and drag the patient on the blanket.


2 Person Carries:

  • Extremity Carry: Have the patient sit up and cross their arms out in front of them. One of you should grab at the patient’s forearms, while the other lifts underneath the patient’s knees. Lift the patient and carry them out. 


  • Swing Carry: Sit on either side of the patient and place their arms around your shoulders. Interlock your forearms behind the patient and reach under the patient’s knees. Lift the patient into a “swing” position. 

3 Person Carry:

  • Each of you can lift the patient together, one at the patient’s neck and upper back, another grabbing under the lower back, and a third underneath the patient’s knees and thighs. Once you are positioned, lift the patient and carry them out. 


Knowing how to carry an injured person and how to lift an unconscious person is an important step towards emergency preparedness. Proper technique will reduce the risk of injury for all.


How To Safely Carry Someone Out of An Emergency Situation:


How To Safely Carry Someone Out of An Emergency Situation

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About the author


I spent 15 years as a
firefighter and paramedic...

And too often I would arrive on the scene of someone unconscious, surrounded by a circle of people feeling helpless. Sometimes those people would even have CPR training but lacked the confidence and experience to act.

That’s why I started SureFire CPR. Our classes are practical and engaging – teaching you the crucial skills you need to know what to do and feel empowered to take action.

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Zack Zarrilli, Founder

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