– derived from “To A Mouse” by Robert Burns
Despite what would be countless hours in planning and organizing an event, inevitably there is a chance of something going wrong. Whether it be bad weather, a power outage, an act delayed in travel, or a miscommunication resulting in far too few event staff on hand, there will always be challenges. How you handle and overcome the challenges thrown before you will often directly impact the result at the end. For this very reason, there are 3 things every event manager should know in case that challenge is a medical emergency.
Location, Location, Location
When calling for help location is key. Be sure to have on hand the following:
- The actual physical address of your venue
- The location in the venue where your event is
- The actual location of the emergency within the event
Having the wrong location is the #1 cause of a delayed response for emergency services. Do your best to prevent misinformation when the emergency actually happens.
Who You Gonna Call?
The vast majority of communities in the United States use 9-1-1 as their emergency number, however, there may be some exceptions. The use of 9-1-1 is more localized than you may realize. Incoming calls are routed to a Public Safety Answering Point that could be operated by the town, county, or even the state.
It is also good to have the non-emergency phone numbers for Police, Fire Department, and EMS. You do not want to use the emergency number for a non-emergent situation. In all likelihood, these numbers will be all different from one another but can come in handy especially where permitting and street closures are scheduled.
If you’re looking to call the Ghostbusters, their number happens to be 555-2368. Don’t worry, after all these years, they’re still ready to believe you. Mention Event Medical Services NYC and they’ll give you 10% off the Containment Fee.
You need to be able to document as much as you can yourself. Do not depend on the responders to provide you with any detailed information. If it is a medical emergency the responding agencies are covered entities under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and will not release any of the guest’s Protected Health Information (PHI). This does NOT stop you from finding out yourself by directly asking the patient, bystander, or witness for the information.
Key demographic information such as name, age, what happened, where they are being taken (if being removed from the event) and a way to contact the guest should be the main priorities. Following up with a guest who has experienced an emergency at the event is vital from a guest services perspective. In order to do so you need to have their name and either an e-mail or a phone number.