Step 1: Appoint a Medical Director. This person should have a medical background and be a part of the planning process from the beginning. Beyond their medical expertise, they should be highly organized and prepared to direct others in case of an emergency. The Medical Director should work closely with local agencies and the security limb of your team throughout the planning and execution process.
Step 2: Choose a facility with care. Don’t be afraid to ask for references from previous organizations who have utilized the space then be ready with the right questions. If you’re not an expert on artificial turf or the appropriate height of hand railings, get those people in the room with you. These details can have a significant impact on the quality and experience of your event. If you do hear of concerns during these discussions, get in touch with the facility and its maintenance staff to ensure that updates or fixes can and will be completed before your event.
Step 3: Select a medical personnel team. This will vary according to the size and scope of your event. However, your Medical Director can assist in selecting the best possible team to meet your specific needs. Be sure to verify references as you hire.
Team of EMTs (for contact sports and large events)
Step 4: Identify and find equipment. Much of what you’ll need will come to your facility with either the sports teams or your medical personnel team. However, don’t assume this is the case. Work with your Medical Director to list those items of critical importance and ensure they are available.
Step 5: Answer these questions:
Are there first aid stations? Where will they be located?
Will you be using private or public Emergency Medical Services (EMS)? Are there additional back-up services available? How can they be reached?
Will medical care be available to only participants or spectators as well?
What is the worst case scenario? Are communication systems in place to deal with that scenario?
In a crisis, who needs to be called in?
Where are the nearest medical and critical care facilities? How long does it take to reach them? Routes?
Step 6: Make the plan. Share the plan. You’ve done the work, now make it available to your team. In the event of a medical crisis – no one wants all the information locked in a filing cabinet in a back room or in the hands of only one person no one can reach. In the age of the internet, it should be easily available on every smartphone or tablet on your team. But don’t assume the internet will be working. Have printed copies available throughout the facility and be certain your team can easily access them.
Sports are meant for fun and entertainment. However, ignoring the potential hazards is not only irresponsible, it’s dangerous. Surround yourself with experts, so you have the best team to deal with the worst case scenario.