BDLS LogoBasic Disaster Life Support™ (BDLS)®

Note: The BDLS® course is now part of the International Association of Emergency Managers' (IAEM) list of approved courses for Certification in Emergency Management (CEM) application.

BDLS® is targeted to multiple disciplines including emergency medical service (EMS) personnel, hazardous materials personnel, public health personnel, and health care providers. The goal of teaching multiple disciplines simultaneously is to develop a commonality of approach and language in the health care community, improving the care and coordination of response in Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) disasters and public health emergencies.The BDLS® course is a review of the "all-hazards" topics including natural and accidental man-made events, traumatic and explosive events, nuclear and radiological events, biological events, and chemical events. Also included is information on the health care professionals’ role in the public health and incident management systems, community mental health, and special needs of underserved and vulnerable populations. The recognition and management of the disaster scene and victims are reinforced through a unique approach, introduced in the Core Disaster Life Support Course® called the D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R Paradigm™, which helps to organize the students' preparation and response to disaster management. The paradigm emphasizes an "all-hazards" approach to mass casualty incident management and facilitates ongoing qualitative and quantitative assessment of an incident.

D - Detect
I - Incident Command
S - Scene Security and Safety  
A - Assess Hazards
S - Support
T - Triage and Treatment
E - Evaluation
R - Recovery

The mass casualties triage system used in BDLS® and the other NDLS™ courses employs the S.A.L.T. methodology. Id-me! is a simple mnemonic for sorting patients during triage of mass casualties, and it is used effectively in the S.A.L.T. Triage model. A detailed discussion and application of these asessment tools is reinforced throughout the BDLS® and ADLS® courses.

S.A.L.T. Triage

S - Sort
A - Assess
L - Life-saving Interventions
T - Triage/Treatment


I - Immediate 
D - Delayed
M - Minimum
E - Expectant

Target Audience

Physicians, Registered or Licensed Practical Nurses, Paramedics or National Intermediate EMTs, Physician Assistants, Allied Health Professionals, Dentists, Pharmacists, Public Health Professionals, Veterinarians, Health Profession Students, First Responders and Mental Health Professionals.


PA DOH EMS Course #: 007189


Level Total   Med/Trauma Other
FR 7.5   4 3.5
EMT 7.5   4 3.5
Paramedic 7.5   4 3.5
PHRN/HP 7.5   4 3.5