Emergency Response

This is a Test…of your emergency response system

April 12, 2011

Mary Chappell, Director
Jason Krone, Associate Director, Programs, Sport Club Director
Jill Urkoski; Associate Director, Fitness and Staff Development
University of Kansas Recreation Services

The fast pace world in which we live in most definitely leaves us vulnerable to all types of risk. For those who work on today’s college campuses, it is a 24/7 duty cycle that transitions from Fall to Winter, Spring to Summer, Semesters to Quarters, and Event to Event.

When a campus incident rocks your world and that of your staff and participants, have you asked yourself “Are you ready to respond?”. Can you truthfully say that you have a plan in place for everything from evacuations, to sheltering in place? Can you say that your staff is ready to respond should they be called on to do so? If not, you are strongly recommended to start the planning process as soon as you finish reading this response guideline. The time is now. Call a staff meeting, and begin the process to develop an Emergency Response Plan that works for your Campus Recreation core mission: a plan that becomes embedded in the framework of your department, unit, reporting structure and campus environment. Quoting Frank De Salvo, Associate Vice Provost at the University of Kansas: “Emergency response preparation is not only valuable in the case of unforeseen circumstances. Such processes also contribute to team building, role clarification and accountability among staff members at all levels of the organization. It is clearly a prudent and profitable investment of time and energy.”

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April 12, 2011

Christopher Tapfer
Emergency Management Coordinator
Washington State University

Since the tragedy at Virginia Tech last year, a key topic of discussion on college campuses has been emergency communications. Some of the dozens of reports that were developed about the Virginia Tech incident criticized the University for failing to communicate the danger of the situation to its campus community until it was too late. This is a matter of debate, and won’t be discussed here, but the issue did focus attention on the need for a college to have an adequate supply of tools that can be used to inform, warn and notify a campus of emergency situations quickly and efficiently.

During the discussions about the incident at Virginia Tech, the topic of the Clery Act was brought up many times. The key issue related to the Clery Act was the requirements for “timely warnings to the campus community about crimes that pose an ongoing threat to students and employees” and whether or not Virginia Tech failed in their duty to comply with the Act. Again, this is a matter for others to decide, but it is important that you have an awareness of what the Clery Act is and isn’t, and how it can impact a college campus.

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It Can Happen to You!

April 12, 2011

Lessons learned from real-life emergencies

Julie Stoehr
IM Sports/Fitness/Recreation Coordinator and Facility Manager
Penn State Harrisburg

“Someone’s collapsed in the racquetball courts!” These are words that all fitness facility staff dread, but ones for which they must be prepared. Performing life-saving techniques is something that one prepares for through yearly CPR/AED certification, but hopes never to have to execute. Results of life-saving efforts are rather clear-cut….. life or death. There is no room for ambiguity. Regardless of the outcome however, much can be learned from emergency situations and response procedures that were implemented from beginning to end. Despite the plethora of CPR/AED/First Aid training that most fitness facility directors and staff attend, nothing quite prepares one for the actual act of performing life-saving procedures.

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Audit 911

April 11, 2011

Establishing an All-Inclusive Staff Training for a Multi-Purpose Facility

Jennifer Garis
Aquatic Director
Campus Recreation
Florida State University

On campuses across North America, Recreation departments are often known as having some of the best risk management practices. The student staff is generally certified in CPR, First Aid, and AED, and the lifeguards typically hold upper level health and safety certifications. However, are they prepared to work together in facilities that have up to 6,000 participants per day and 20 staff on duty at any particular time?

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The Lightning Debate

April 11, 2011

The case in support of a lightning policy

Kevin Johnston, M.S.
Graduate Faculty, University of Idaho
Senior Consultant, Professional Aquatic Consultants International

Why is there even a debate? The most conservative perspective is to close both outdoor and indoor pools due to the potential risk. The most liberal perspective: the pool is a safe place based on its design and there hasn’t been a documented ‘in the water’ injury or death in an indoor pool as a result of lightning. Our society has become what Beck calls a ‘Risk Society’. Risk is out there lurking in the shadows but is obscure and abstract: global warming, terrorist attacks and nuclear disasters waiting to happen. Lightning and the indoor pool can be seen in these same terms.

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Implementing a Missing Child Procedure within a Campus Recreation Department

April 10, 2011

Jonathan Hart
Assistant Director of Campus Recreation
Facilities and Operations
Georgia Institute of Technology

What would you do if a child was reported missing in your facility? Would your staff be prepared and able to react to this unimaginable scenario and possible life-threatening situation? Before you are faced with having to assemble a ‘search party’ as a means of finding the missing child and reuniting them with their parent and/or guardian, consider employing the following information to assist with safeguarding your facility, programs, and aiding the staff against the threat of child abduction.

Last spring, we (Campus Recreation Risk Management Committee) were charged with developing and implementing an effective protocol that would enable us to properly train/instruct staff (mostly students) to effectively handle and react when a child is reported missing. We discovered a national program called Code Adam (named after Adam Walsh who was abducted and brutally murdered in 1981) to assist in our pursuits.

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