Conducting an Event requires emergency response planning – the requirements are very well documented in the relevant SANBS documentation. These rules are in place to protect all parties attending or involved in the event.
All events can be prone to accidents ranging from a minor to catastrophic; it may be a spectator being hit with a ball to a grandstand collapse. Inevitably people get hurt, and the equipment gets damaged. The onus is on the event organizer to control and mitigate risk as much as possible and additionally plan and prepare for the worst. A simple search of the internet reveals that these accidents happen all too often.
Broadly speaking the requirements vary from event to event as a risk assessment needs to be conducted taking into account the event type, location, expected number of event participants and in addition to the expected number of spectators. An example of this is comparing a school hockey game to a motor vehicle race – the “probability” vs “consequence” outcomes are vastly different.
During the preliminary risk assessment all options are considered to advise the event organizer on how to control and mitigate the event as much as possible – e.g. perhaps a change of location, or demarcating a suitable audience area may make a significant change to your events risk profile and the impact on surrounding businesses.
Once a final risk assessment is concluded a risk matrix is utilized to determine what emergency resources and planning is required – e.g. number and type of emergency medical personnel, a number of fire exits, first responders required.
At this point, planning can start to allocate role players, establish emergency communications and response plans and obtain the relevant approval from the authorities, e.g. the chief traffic and fire officer, the municipal offices for the region.
FireMed’s Five (5) Point Plan For Emergency Response Planning At Events Are As Follows:
Develop an Emergency Response Strategy Plan
Identify Potential Emergencies
- Civil unrest
- IT and telecom’s outages
- The absence of key staff
- Break down of essential service
- Natural elements- floods, hail, lightning etc
- Security breech
Review Essential Elements
- Evacuations and lock downs
- Provision of sufficient resources (People, Equipment and Service)
- Training and competencies of key personnel
- Identifying access and egress routes
- Allocation of triage areas
- Identification of suitable helicopter landing sites for emergencies
- Legislative and municipal requirements – licensing and regulatory bodies
- Insurance requirements
- Post incident recovery plans
- Pre-event emergency testing
- Liaising with ambulance departments, fire departments, police and security in addition to having plans in place with local and regional hospitals.
Communicate Emergency Plans and Arrangements to Key Players
Test and Review Emergency Plans
Event organizers who do not comply with the relevant legal requirements run a high risk of having their event cancelled or may be taken on in a civil or criminal court in the event of damages or loss of life where it seems that the organizer did not take steps at “best industry practices”. The risk of financial penalties, jail time and a variety of other penalties are a very real possibility that the event organizers face.
All too often event service providers sell themselves to the event planner as something beyond their scope- the event organizer has the duty and responsibility to ensure minimum criteria are met and apply due diligence.
FireMed has the expertise to help event planners comply with the requirements for hosting an event. Allow us to improve your planning stages, mitigate your risks and manage your service providers from event inception until after the event has concluded.