Emergency Response

The More they Know the More they Grow!

October 11, 2011

Tips on selecting and preparing your undergraduate student employees to work as Facility Supervisors

Kacy Toberg, CRSS
Facilities Coordinator
Georgia State University

About Georgia State University and our Student Recreation Center:
Georgia State University is an urban research institution located in the heart of downtown Atlanta. We have approximately 31, 500 students as of the Fall Semester 2010. The Department of Recreational Services employs around 150 student employees each semester to work in the various activity and program areas of our 161,112 square foot Student Recreation Center. This is a 29.5 million dollar facility with over 1,500 entries per day!

BIG job with BIG responsibilities:
The position of Facility Supervisor is the highest position an undergraduate student employee can obtain in our department. Each semester we have about a dozen Facility Supervisors, with one on duty every hour the Student Recreation Center is open. They are the primary liaison between the professional staff, our student staff and our customers. The Facility Supervisor is responsible for all decisions in lieu of professional staff.
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The Myth around closing Indoor Pools when there’s Lightning

August 05, 2011

Tom Griffiths, Ed.D.
Director of Aquatics and Safety Officer
Department of Athletics
Penn State University

Closing Indoor Pools during Lightning Storms is THE Great Urban Myth in Aquatics. It rates right up there with Blacks can’t Swim, Snapple supports the KKK, McDonalds put worms in Big Macs, Coca-Cola rots your bones and the Kentucky Fried Rat.

Why then do so may water safety professionals and organizations prescribe to this myth?
According to Heath and Heath in their popular and informative book, ‘Making it Stick’, Urban Myths stick like this one, because they have five important elements: simple, unexpected, concrete, credible and emotional. When it comes to the indoor lightning myth, credibility and emotion based on fear are two important and predominant traits making this particular myth stick.
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Missing Persons Plan

July 19, 2011

Kyle Hansen
Coordinator for Outdoor Adventures
Campus Recreation
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

An effective ‘Missing Person’ plan is essential in the Campus Recreation setting. Summer Camps, Outdoor Programs and Aquatics are three examples of Campus Recreation programs where missing persons are a constant reality — and unless you have a real plan to deal with this situation, the consequences can be disasterous.

The following plan was adapted from a plan developed for an Adventure Trip at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. It can be adapted for any situation, in any location.

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May 12, 2011


Christopher Tapfer
Emergency Management Coordinator
Washington State University

Since the tragedy at Virginia Tech and the fatal shootings at Northern Illinois University, the issue of an active shooter on campus has driven much discussion, many changes and considerable concern at colleges and universities throughout North America. While statistics will still indicate that shootings on a college campus are exceedingly rare, no college administrator will want to have to explain why their campus was not prepared for such an occurrence.

In the months following Virginia Tech, hundreds of reports and analyses of the tragedy were released. The result has been a number of changes at college campuses everywhere. These changes have ranged from the acquisition of new locks on buildings, classrooms and meeting areas; sirens and public address systems; text messaging or other communication systems to allow direct contact with students, faculty and staff and all manner of new communications tools that will increase the ability to provide warning and notification capability. Other changes include educational programs with training for students, faculty and staff on what to do and how to react if a shooter appears and the creation of threat assessment teams that can react to and address the issues the institution faces with troubled or problem causing students, faculty and staff and systems created that encourage the campus community to report troubled individuals so they can be reached with the help they need before a tragedy occurs. All these changes have the potential to make a difference and time will tell to see if they will have an impact on making college campuses a safer place to be.

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April 28, 2011

A Case for Improved Risk Protocols

Mike Colpo
NOLS Instructor

Campus Recreation programs offering outdoor components face a threat far more real and menacing than a crashing economy. This hazard brings stress, chaos, and in extreme cases, death — and it is almost entirely beyond our control. It is a nefarious agent, too, in that many of us have unwittingly served as vectors for transmission of its typically surprising attacks. Those who have dealt with it before know it well; the memory of its effects conjuring images straight out of The Exorcist or Poltergeist. Yes ladies and gentlemen, I’m talking about the lowly peanut.

Of course, the peanut here can just as easily be replaced by bee stings, gluten, latex, or any item from the growing list of allergens that effect today’s students. Are the immune systems of today’s students less robust, or have our methods of tracking and understanding allergic response mechanisms improved? The debate remains open, with elements of truth scattered liberally on both ends of the spectrum. Regardless of where the answers lie, the truth for Recreation Program Coordinators remains immutable — all programs which offer students educational, recreational, or social programs that could expose them to uncontrolled (or uncontrollable) environments need a coordinated strategy for responding to environmentally introduced allergens.

The best defense against sudden anaphylaxis is the EpiPen. Epi-Pen is an auto-injector that administers epinephrine–and epinephrine is the definitive emergency treatment for severe allergic reactions. Called anaphylaxis, these severe allergic reactions are marked by swelling of the throat or tongue, hives, and trouble breathing. When it strikes, life is at risk. And time is critical, since anaphylaxis can become fatal within minutes if untreated.

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New Webinar Training Modules

April 28, 2011

New Webinar Training Modules

Staff training is of critical importance to a successful Campus Recreation operation. In addition to training in various safety protocols (see article in this Newsletter on ‘Developing a Safety Training Grid’), other training modules are needed to address other areas e.g. specific job training, sexual harassment etc..

Have you considered using (pre-recorded) Webinars as a training tool? There are several advantages to using Webinars as a training tool:
*Recorded Webinars are accessible at any time, on any desktop or laptop
*Year-long access to Webinars allow continuous and consistent training of newly hired staff.
*Content is delivered by experts saving staff time in preparing and delivering training material.
*Reasonable cost: less than $100 per Webinar (for a full academic year!)
*Cost effective — eliminates travel costs of bringing in experts to deliver content.

McGregor & Associates have developed 8 new  training Webinars designed to complement your fall/winter training programs. These webinars are strategically organized into 2 distinct Series:
(A) Negligence & Risk Management (B) Sport Clubs and Travel (see below)

In addition, there is a ‘tracking option’ available (for ‘Negligence Awareness Training’ only) which provides confirmation that student training has been successfully completed.

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