January 15, 2014
The Importance of Red Shirt Drills
Aquatics Program Director
Campus Recreation and Intramurals
Georgia Southern University
Henry Ford once said, “Before everything else, getting ready is the secret of success” and this is true for emergency readiness. Preparing your staff for an emergency can be like riding a bike; they may fall several times, but with practice and patience they will master the skills and they will never fall again. In this article, we will dissect the components of an audit system called ‘Red Shirt Drills’. Red Shirt Drills are scenarios that are put in place to test staff performance during an emergency situation. The main goal of this audit system is to create an environment where the staff can feel ready to perform under stressful situations and the element of surprise is diminished. Red Shirt Drills can be applied to any program area within your recreational facility; aquatics, intramural sports, fitness, facilities and beyond.
Phase 1: Assessing Your Staff’s Prior Knowledge
The main point for this phase is to determine what your staff already know or don’t know about the skills you want to implement. Begin by discussing your goals with the staff. Let them know that during this phase you want them act to the best of their abilities. Written and practical pre-tests can be your greatest tool in this phase. For example, a key component to any emergency response is the responder’s knowledge of CPR/AED and First Aid. To assess their knowledge, start with a written exam from your CPR/AED and First Aid provider. Then, have the staff demonstrate the skills they were asked about in the exam. Document your findings; where do they excel? Where are they weak? Read more