This checklist is part one of a
two-part series on medical emergencies, adapted from Risk
Management for Meetings and Events (www.elsevierdirect.com or www.juliasilvers.com) by Julia Rutherford Silvers,
CSEP. This month, we’ll look at the facility and pre-event
preparations; in July, we’ll examine procedures to follow in an
Create an event-specific risk
assessment identifying hazards and possible emergency medical
needs, evaluating areas such as attendee demographics, the event’s
purpose, activities, site features, etc.
Events with fewer than 500 attendees
and close to a medical facility typically require only staff
member(s) trained in first aid.
Consider hiring an EMT for events of
more than 500 people. For events in the thousands, use a ratio of
one EMT for every 1,000 to 3,000 people.
For events with more than 10,000
attendees, subcontracting with a medical services organization to
coordinate and oversee medical response plans is recommended.
Events in remote or underdeveloped
sites should consider on-site ambulances, mobile medical facilities
and, perhaps, aeromedical services.
Events involving strenuous or risky
activities, at-risk attendees, special circumstances or individuals
(e.g., VIPs or performers), or other risk factors should consider
hiring on-site paramedics, registered nurses or physicians.
For large events or expansive event
sites, set up numerous medical aid posts (e.g., first-aid stations,
on-site ambulance, infirmary and/or mobile hospital).
Determine the facility’s response
procedures and on-site medical capabilities, including equipment
(such as the quantity and location of defibrillators) and first-aid
Have personnel been trained in first
aid, CPR, the use of defibrillators and/or the Heimlich
Determine the proximity and
capabilities of nearby med-ical facilities and services, including
response times, transport routes and contact information.
Specify the scope and level of the
on-site medical service you require.
Determine the need for special
equipment or vehicles for handling and transport.
Before the Event
Liaise with local authorities (public
safety, health, ambulance service, etc.) to provide event details
and to determine statutory/recommended levels of on-site medical
Make a medical-response plan that
covers the full scope of the event, including attendee travel,
off-premises events and the move-in through move-out dates for all
Designate a first-aid area with a
fully stocked supply kit.
Determine whether first-aid personnel
will be stationary or roaming (based on crowd density or site
Clearly identify first-aid personnel
with distinctive clothing, uniforms, badges or other
Identify access and egress routes for
all medical service providers; determine if routes need to be
dedicated exclusively to emergency vehicles.
Provide grid maps of the site plan,
including surrounding roads and access routes, for medical response
Determine positioning of medical
response services, typically on the perimeter with access to
ambulance exit routes.
Designate one first-aid station as
the main medical facility, typically the one nearest the entrance
or the one with the best ambulance access.
Medical aid posts should be highly
visible and rapidly accessible (within five minutes) from
Post clear signage for first-aid
Prepare for hazardous waste disposal
(clinical waste and sharp objects) and give medical staff access to
utilities, designated parking areas, restrooms and break