Emergency Action Planning

January 17, 2012

New Webinar Series on developing an effective EAP

Sean Ries, Associate Director
Campus Recreation Services
Cleveland State University

Campus Recreation departments must have an effective Emergency Action Plan (EAP) in place. The plan needs to cover all possible emergencies (e.g. medical emergency, fire, evacuation, severe weather, chemical spill etc.) and be consistent between all program and facility units within the department. Everyone in the department (full and part-time staff) needs to be well trained.

At Cleveland State University, effective and efficient emergency response is a top priority for Campus Recreation. Over the years, a comprehensive EAP has been developed, tested and refined, and consists of two key elements:

  1. Developing the EAP framework
  2. Training staff on EAP implementation

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Emergency Response Drills

December 08, 2011

A Vital Component in your Training Plan

Rich Bricker
Facilities Coordinator – RecSports
University of Tennessee, Knoxville

At the University of Tennessee RecSports department the Facilities and Aquatics program areas are involved in running drills on their staff. As a result of a fatal cardiac arrest in 2007 and a near drowning in 2009 both of these program areas decided to add more hands-on training to the current emergency response plan in the form of drills. For the purposes of UT RecSports, a drill is a scenario in which student workers are placed in a false crisis in order to practice emergency response procedures. These situations take place in various locations throughout all RecSports facilities.

The following article contains two parts: practical drills and research. The first section deals with our drill program, and the article explains the approach that the University of Tennessee RecSports program takes to ensure that our manager level staff has practical experience in dealing with emergency situations. By using a drill scenario, we believe that we are getting as close to a “real life” crisis as possible. In the second section, the article explains some of the research that was performed using the RecSports Facilities managers. We wanted to determine if running drills affected the self-reported level of confidence that the managers felt when dealing with emergency situations.

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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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Climbing Wall Risk Management: Part 1

July 15, 2011

Jason Kurten, M.S.
Outdoor Adventure Coordinator
Director of Indoor Climbing Facility
Texas A&M University, College Station

Josh Norris, M.A.
Climbing and Adventure Education Coordinator
Adventure Leadership Institute
Oregon State University

Climbing Walls. Many, if not most of today’s colleges and university recreation centers feature one of these installations in some form. Whether it is a small bouldering wall tucked away in a corner or a free standing tower rising through the center of your building, these facility features pose an unique issue for managers. Through the 1980’s, the climbing wall industry historically lacked consolidation and standardization. Facilities were built in areas where outdoor climbing was popular and they provided a place where these outdoor adventurers could practice their craft in a controlled environment. Today we see these installations in YMCA’s and university recreation centers, and run as commercial operations – even in areas devoid of any outdoor rock climbing opportunities. This article is the first in a two part series. Part I will focus on physical facilities by covering three topics: Published Guidelines, Documentation, and finally Facility Risks and Inspections. Part II will focus on Employee Training, Climber Instruction and Competency. Read more

Climbing Wall Risk Management: Part 2

July 14, 2011

Employee Training, Participant Instruction and Competency

Jason Kurten, M.S.
Outdoor Adventure Coordinator
Director of Indoor Climbing Facility
Texas A&M University, College Station

Josh Norris, M.A.
Climbing and Adventure Education Coordinator
Adventure Leadership Institute
Oregon State University

This article is the second of a two part series devoted to risk management for artificial climbing walls. The first part of the article dealt with the physical facility. This article will focus on the human element involved in the sport. As many of us know from our larger recreation facilities, the human element can often be the most difficult to manage and sometimes the hardest to predict. However, once the physical facility is secured, the single most important way to mitigate risk in climbing walls is to develop a process to address human errors and issues, both in our employees and our patrons. In developing this process, the areas to focus on include: the concept of Demonstrated Competence and its application to both the skill instruction and testing of our patrons and the training and testing of our employees. Read more

Sport Club Member Training

May 12, 2011

Bob Gough
Aquatics & Sport Club Coordinator
Campus Recreation
University of North Carolina Wilmington

Sport Club professionals spend hours developing and writing policy manuals with the hope that club members read and understand each concept. We know through experience that this is seldom the case. What can we do to help reinforce the messages our club officers need to know? Member training can be part of the solution to this problem.
The Sport Club program at the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) has experienced growth each of the last seven years. The Sport Club Council (SCC) meeting was a great opportunity to include training topics – when the total number of clubs were smaller. When we reached the 20 Sport Clubs mark, the Sport Club Council meetings were taking 2 hours, and we realized that the Sport Club Council meeting was no longer the best place to train our club officers.

We began researching training programs from other sport club programs, new member orientation programs for fraternity and sorority programs, and the employee training program from the UNCW Discover Outdoor program. The process lead to the development of a weekly one-hour sport club member training program we named the ‘Sport Club Management Series’.

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