Top 5 Ways to Prepare for Medical Emergencies at Your Events

October 20, 2018

As event planners, we are accustomed to juggling a million different things at once. It’s so easy to get lost in the details of the event that we sometimes forget to plan for contingencies like natural disasters and medical emergencies. But, let’s face it, life happens. People sprain their ankles… they have heart attacks… they have panic attacks… they have strokes… they get food poisoning… they go into diabetic shock… the list goes on. We can’t necessarily plan for every scenario, but we can be prepared. You never know, someone’s life may be at stake! Here are five ways you can prepare for medical emergencies at your events:

1. Collect Emergency Contact Info

If you gather pertinent participant information during registration, it’ll save valuable time in an emergency. This is as simple as adding an “In Case of Emergency” section to your registration form. Be sure to ask for an emergency contact name, relationship, and cell phone number. In addition, ask for a list of any medical conditions and/or allergies that the event organizers should be aware of, and physician’s name and number should a medical emergency occur.

2. Invest in a First Aid Station

Having a first aid station and/or ambulance at your event not only gives planners some peace of mind, but also shows attendees that you take extra precautions to ensure their safety in case of medical emergencies at your event. This also frees up your staff and volunteers to focus on non-emergency related action items so that the pros can handle the medical stuff.

3. Conduct a Site Inspection

As event planners, you are probably already inspecting your sites. So, while you’re there, why not identify emergency exits as well as AED and first-aid kit locations? If cell phone service is spotty, where is the nearest house phone you can use in case of medical emergencies at your event? And don’t stop there. Ask your event facility to share their emergency plans with you. It’s best to be over-informed than unprepared!

4. Invest in Training

First-Aid, CPR, and AED training are invaluable resources. If your staff and event volunteers aren’t trained, you should give the investment some serious consideration. The first few minutes of a medical emergency are critical. Knowing the appropriate first steps to take in a medical emergency situation can significantly reduce a victim’s recovery time. That being said, “knowledge is power.” Studies have shown that people with first-aid training are more confident and level-headed in emergency situations, thereby promoting a sense of security for the people around them who might not know what to do.  

And finally, but probably most importantly…

5. Create a Formal Emergency Response Plan

Your plan should be clear in the event of various types of emergencies including, but not limited to, acts of violence, security breaches, building fires, natural disasters, and medical emergencies. All staff and volunteers working at the event should be familiar with the plan so that they are prepared to take any action necessary to ensure the safety and well-being of event attendees.

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