Triage is defined as the process of prioritizing treatment based upon severity of medical
condition. This rations care efficiently when resources are insufficient for all to be treated
immediately - the very definition of a medical disaster.
Ventura County paramedics and CMH Emergency Department staff are trained in the
START Triage protocol, developed in 1983 by the staff of Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach
and the Newport Beach Fire Department.
Minor: Green Triage Tag Color
1) Victim with relatively minor injuries.
2) Status unlikely to deteriorate over days.
3) May be able to assist in own care. Also known as "walking wounded“.
Delayed: Yellow Triage Tag Color
1) Victim's transport can be delayed.
2) Includes serious and potentially life-threatening injuries, but status not expected to
deteriorate significantly over several hours.
Immediate: Red Triage Tag Color
1) Victim can be helped by immediate intervention and transport.
2) Requires medical attention within minutes for survival (up to 60 minutes).
3) Includes compromise to patient's airway, breathing, and circulation (the ABC's of
Expectant: Black Triage Tag Color
1) Victim unlikely to survive given severity of injuries, level of available care, or both.
2) Palliative care and pain relief should be provided.