In catastrophic disasters such as major earthquakes in densely populated regions, effective Life-Supporting First-Aid (LSFA) and basic rescue can be administered to the injured by previously trained, uninjured survivors (co victims). Administration of LSFA immediately after disaster strikes can add to the overall medical response and help to diminish the morbidity and mortality that result from these events. Widespread training of the lay public also may improve bystander responses in everyday emergencies. However, for this scheme to be effective, a significant percentage of the lay population must learn the eight basic steps of LSFA. These have been developed by the International Resuscitation Research Center in collaboration with the World Association for Emergency and Disaster Medicine, the City of Pittsburgh Department of Public Safety, and the American Red Cross (Pennsylvania chapter). They include: 1) scene survey; 2) airway control; 3) rescue breathing (mouth-to-mouth); 4) circulation (chest compressions; may be omitted for disasters, but should be retained for everyday bystander response); 5) abdominal thrusts for choking (may be omitted for disasters, but retained for everyday bystander response); 6) control of external bleeding; 7) positioning for shock; and 8) call for help.