Emergency Action Plans (EAPs)
An Emergency Action Plan (EAP) is a plan coaches design to help them respond to emergency situations. Preparing such a plan in advance will help you respond in a responsible and clearheaded way if an emergency occurs.
An EAP should be prepared for the facility or site where you normally hold practices and for any facility or site where you regularly host competitions. For away competitions, ask the host team or host facility for a copy of their EAP. An EAP can be simple or elaborate. It should cover the following:
- Designate in advance who is in charge if an emergency occurs (this may be you).
- Have a cell phone with you and make sure the battery is fully charged. If this is not possible, find out the exact location of a telephone you can use at all times. Have spare change in case you need to use a pay phone.
- Have emergency telephone numbers with you (facility manager, superintendent, fire, police, ambulance), as well as athletes’ contact numbers (parents/guardians, next of kin, family doctor).
- Have on hand a medical profile for each athlete so that this information can be provided to emergency medical personnel. Include in this profile signed consent from the parent/guardian to authorize medical treatment in an emergency.
- Prepare directions for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to follow to reach the site as quickly as possible. You may want to include information such as the closest major intersection, one-way streets, or major landmarks.
- Have a first-aid kit accessible and properly stocked at all times (all coaches are strongly encouraged to pursue first-aid training).
- Designate in advance a call person: the person who makes contact with medical authorities and otherwise assists the person in charge. Be sure that your call person can give emergency vehicles precise directions to your facility or site.
Excerpted from the NCCP Multi-sport Competition-Introduction Module: Planning a Practice.
What is something different or unique in your Emergency Action Plan? Have you ever had to use your EAP?
Sheri Cappa – Ice Skating – London – 31 years
“…When we have an emergency, we have up to 70 people on the ice with limited egress. It is important for parents to leave their child in the coaches’ charge and exit the building. They are to meet their child outside the building so there is minimal congestion at the exit points of the ice surface.”
C. Ed Spike – Baseball, Soccer, Judo – Waterloo Region – 26+ years
“…Visiting team’s player was kneed in the head by his own goalie. As the advanced First Aider, I was called into action. Having witnessed the accident and being called for help from the visiting team, I ran immediately to the injured player. I assessed the players condition. Mother wanted to drive her 17 yr old son to the hospital. She did not know where the hospital was, So I insisted having the 911 call to be made.
A parent with a cell phone stood by while I talked to 911. We had no numerical address. The 911 operator insisted on a numerical address. I told her the cross roads and the park name. The 911 operator had know knowledge of the name of the park, that had three soccer fields and a lighted baseball diamond.
I asked to be put through to the Ambulance and Fire, directly. Finally the 911 operator put the call through to the Fire Department, which was closer.
After the Fire Trucks arrived the Ambulance arrived. I told them to triage in the ambulance since they had my assessment. They did! I filed a report.”
Stephen Catania – Soccer – Toronto – 10 years
“…Fortunately, I haven’t had to use my EAP. For our home-field games and practices our locations are permanent. Those EAPs I have laminated and carry 3 copies, one remains in the first kit, one in the coaching bag. With the 3rd EAP, when preparing the practice/game and snack schedule, depending on the age group, I designate who will have the 3rd EAP and give them a run down of how to use it.
In terms of the away game schedule, if the locations are the same as previous, then its a simple copy and paste, however if there is a change then it requires an adjustment. Also, to me it makes sense to found out if any road construction or any major disruption to the location has made a significant impact on getting to and from. If this could affect parents and players, then it will have an impact on emergency services. I try to keep my first aid kit up to date and inspect it weekly during the season. At all games and practices, the parents know that the blue and red bag is the first kit.”
Brenda Rogers – Athletics – Ottawa – 6 years
“…I’ve never had to use mind but it gives me peace of mind to know I have it!”