CRISIS/EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT PLAN
The purpose of this Plan is to define actions to be taken by AFA personnel (including adult employees, directors, or coaches) in the event of a crisis or emergency occurring at an AFA event, or at Club-sponsored events at other facilities.
II. DEFINITION OF “CRISIS”
For purposes of this Plan. a “crisis” is an event or situation that threatens or has the potential to threaten life, health, or property, and which requires a quick and decisive response. Examples of a crisis include (but are not necessarily limited to):
- Medical emergency (potentially serious injury or sudden, potentially serious illness)
- Severe weather event
- Accidents involving motor vehicles, including field maintenance equipment
- Incidents involving potentially dangerous animals
The following are authorized and expected to be able to respond quickly and decisively in the event of a crisis, if present at the site of the crisis:
- Club Executive Director
- Other Club Directors
- Adult (18+) Club employees
- Adult (18+) coaches or assistant coaches
All such persons are expected to have read and become familiar with this Plan.
If more than one such person is present at the site of the crisis, the group shall immediately establish the person “in charge” and make every effort to provide all needed assistance and follow directions until the crisis has passed.
If the Executive Director is not on site at the time of a crisis, the person in charge should contact, or arrange for another person to contact, the Executive Director by telephone to apprise him or her of the situation. Similar attempts should be made to contact the president of the Club. Such contacts should occur only after necessary contacts to emergency services have been made.
IV. GENERAL GUIDELINES
If a crisis occurs, the person in charge shall first determine the nature and circumstances of the event as quickly as possible so that:
- The most appropriate course of action can be taken
- If necessary, this information can be communicated to emergency response personnel
Obtaining Key Information
In a situation that is likely to require emergency response personnel, it is critically important to be able to provide as much key information as possible. Such information includes:
- Nature of crisis or emergency
- Precise location
- Number of person involved
- Essential site-specific information (such as means of access to the location)
If necessary, the person in charge should obtain necessary information from eyewitnesses. Relying on second-hand information is discouraged.
Summoning Emergency Response
Because of the prevalence of cellular telephones, it is likely that emergency response personnel can be summoned by telephone from the scene of the event. The person in charge should make the call or designate another person who is capable of providing key information. If a telephone is not immediately available, the person in charge should either:
- Designate a responsible person to stay in charge, while the person-in-charge proceeds to the nearest telephone, or
- Designate a responsible person to proceed to the nearest telephone
This Plan recognizes that situations or events may occur for which it may not be obvious whether they fit the definition of a “crisis” or “emergency.” In such situation, persons in charge should act as though a crisis exists and take every precaution against worsening the situation, rather than delay taking action that might later be proved to have been crucial. This includes summoning emergency response personnel.
Posting of Emergency Response Contact Information
Emergency response contact information shall be distributed to all club employees at the start of the season. Contact information shall include “9-1-1” as well as direct telephone numbers for Police, Fire Department, and the Animal Control.
Containing An Emergency
Certain types of crises or emergencies, such medical emergencies, may be noticeable only to persons in the immediate vicinity, rather than to everyone on the premises. (For example, a serious injury occurring on one field may not be noticed by those on other fields.) In situations where a crisis is confined to a small area, the person in charge should make reasonable efforts to keep persons in the immediate vicinity from spreading misinformation or a sense of fear or panic to others. Since the arrival of emergency personnel will likely be noticed by everyone on the premises, the person in charge should enlist the assistance of others as necessary to maintain general calm and order and to convey accurate information about the emergency as appropriate.
In the event that a crisis or emergency results in the need for communication to the public through the news media, only the Executive Director is authorized to communicate on behalf of AFA.
V. GUIDELINES FOR SPECIFIC TYPES OF CRISIS OR EMERGENCY
A medical emergency exists if there is reason to believe that a person may have suffered a serious illness or injury; in case of doubt, assume that an emergency exists. The person in charge should:
- Determine the nature of the medical emergency
- Summon, or dispatch a responsible person to summon, emergency medical personnel (“9-1-1”)
- If trained to do so, administer first aid
- If not trained to do so, attempt (or dispatch others) to locate persons on site who are qualified to administer first aid
- Exercise control of others in the area (for example, keeping them away from the victim. Maintaining calm and order)
- Remain at the scene until emergency response personnel arrive
Club staff and team coaches are expected to know the location of first aid supplies and be able to obtain access to them if needed.
In the event of fire, the person in charge should:
- Summon, or dispatch another responsible person to summon, fire response personnel (“9-1-1” or the Fire Department)
- Assure that all persons have moved away from the incident
- Assure that no one returns to area until authorized to do so by fire response personnel
No one who is not properly trained should attempt to fight a fire. In the event of a very small fire, only persons who have been trained in the proper use of fire extinguishers should attempt to put out the fire.
Severe Weather Event
In the context of AFA athletic events, severe weather events are most likely to be thunderstorms accompanied by lightning, or sudden high winds. In such cases, the person in charge should:
- Assure that all on-field activities stop immediately
- Instruct all persons to go to car and keep windows rolled up.
- Assure that no person attempts to return to the field until the person in charge has determined that a potential danger no longer exists
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Motor vehicle accidents affecting AFA have the potential to occur in parking areas or on the road outside of practice areas.
For accidents involving the potential for serious injury, the person in charge should:
- Follow the guidelines for Medical Emergencies, above
- Attempt to identify, and obtain contact information for, eyewitnesses to the accident
- Record information such as description of the vehicle, license number, etc.
Potentially Dangerous Animals
Generally, a healthy wild animal will not approach people. If a wild animal approaches an occupied playing field, the person in charge should:
- Assume that the animal is potentially dangerous
- Stop all activities immediately and instruct all persons to proceed to a designated location as far from the animal as possible – the location is at the discretion of the person in charge
- Summon (or dispatch others to summon) appropriate response personnel (“9-1-1” or Animal Control Officer)
- Maintain calm and order until response personnel authorize activities to resume
VI. DOCUMENTING A CRISIS OR EMERGENCY
Persons in charge of or assisting with the handling of a crisis or emergency should recognize that the incident may be the subject of a later investigation by police, fire, or insurance company personnel. Therefore, it is potentially of extreme importance to AFA that those involved in dealing with a crisis make a written record describing their recollection of the event as soon as possible, while it is fresh in their memories. Such a record need not be formal in any way, but it should be as complete and detailed as possible (see Emergency Incident Record form, attached).
Recording descriptions of a crisis or emergency should be considered a necessary final step in properly dealing with the situation or event.
EMERGENCY INCIDENT RECORD
Date of Incident: _____________________________ Time of Incident: _________________
Location of Incident: ____________________________________________________________
Were Emergency Services (Fire, Police, EMT, etc.) summoned? Yes No
Which services responded? _______________________________________________________
Description of Incident (please be as specific as possible, including how the incident occurred and who was involved):
Name: ___________________________________________ Date: ___________________
Telephone Number: ________________________________________