EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS

IS YOUR CLUB PREPARED TO HANDLE AN EMERGENCY SITUATION? ARE YOU PERSONALLY?

By the time an emergency situation occurs, it is too late to start thinking about what should be done, by whom, etc. With a little preparation, emergency procedures for your club and its dance facility may even save a life ... possibly your own!

NOTE: It is suggested that an EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS COMMITTEE be established to ensure that emergency responsibilities are shared by several people. There is always the possibility that an assigned individual may not be attending the function during which an emergency occurs, or may even be the victim. Do not assign phone or other general responsibilities to the person(s) who may be required to administer first aid or emergency care. That individual will have enough to do with the victim. To help your club become better prepared for most emergencies, the Federation offers the following suggestions: Make copies of the Emergency Call for Medical Aid (ECMA) and provide them -- along with a rs theme-->

1. Know the nature of the emergency: Relate the information in a calm manner, be thorough but present the information as briefly as possible.

Remain on the line unless instructed by the emergency service not to do so, or if a danger to the caller exists (such as fire, gas fumes). Whenever possible, updated information should be provided as to what is occurring at your end of the phone. Assign a relay person to make this information available to the person making the call if they are not in the immediate vicinity.

2. Assign a person to the facility's entryway (both outside at driveway entrance and indoors at entrances, unless a danger to these persons exists), to direct emergency personnel to the location the emergency. Should a situation warrant such action(s), someone should be assigned to make other emergency calls that may be necessary, such as gas/utility companies, facility contacts, family members, or to make calls canceling services which are no longer required.

3. FIRE EXTINGUISHERS: Know the locations of fire extinguishers, and HOW TO USE THEM. Know the location of the nearest fire department. It is suggested that the area fire department be contacted regarding group instruction in the safe and proper use of fire extinguishers.

4. CLUB SAFETY PERSONNEL: Know who in your club has current first aid training and skills. Know who in your club has had CPR training, and ideally, who is certified in its applications.

Consider sponsoring a class in basic first aid and CPR training for your club members. Contact your local hospital, fire/police department, Red Cross center for additional information.

Know the location of area hospitals and emergency trauma centers, and the quickest access routes to them.

5. FIRST AID KIT: Every club should maintain at least a basic first aid kit, and have it readily available at all functions. Note however, that any emergency requiring more than ice or a band aid should be attended to by trained emergency personnel. An appropriately supplied first aid kit should contain items which qualified safety personnel may need to initiate care. Since this material is not intended to advise regarding equipment and supplies due to potential legal issues, it is again suggested that your local fire/police department or local hospital emergency service be contacted for information regarding the contents of your club's first aid kit and their proper use.

First Aid kits should be checked regularly to make certain that contents are in adequate supply, and are not outdated.

6. CALLER/CUER/PROMPTER RESPONSIBILITIES: The caller/cuer/prompter may be the first person aware of the emergency, and should initiate appropriate emergency procedures. The caller/cuer/prompter should assume the responsibility of deciding what to do with the dancers, specifically, clear the hall, continue to dance (thereby distracting them from the emergency scene), conclude the event, etc. A club representative should be available to the caller to assist if necessary. Keep the caller/cuer/prompter informed as to what is occurring, so that he/she in turn can keep the dancers informed as necessary ("a dancer has been hurt, first aid is being given, an ambulance is on the way, please stay clear and do not interfere").

7. INSURANCE: Inform your Federation Insurance Administrator about the incident as soon as possible following the event, regardless of whether a claim is anticipated.

8. EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS INFORMATION: All emergency preparedness information should be coordinated and be available at all times.

A small file box can contain this data on index cards, and could be located with registration materials, in a kitchen area with refreshment supplies, or in another designated place that is visible and easy to access.

Ideally, this file should also contain an alphabetical section for emergency information relating to specific/all club members. Are there members who have medical conditions which may warrant special emergency attention ... heart problems, diabetes, special medication needs, handicaps? Consider also that pacemakers, contact lens, dentures, and hearing aids may complicate emergency care if they are unknown factors. Knowing a patient's blood type or allergies (example: bee stings, penicillin) is valuable information to professional emergency personnel. Should someone be contacted when a club member has an accident or other emergency situation -- family member, neighbor? Don't assume the spouse or partner will take care of this -- he/she may not be able to do so. Be aware that much of the above information is viewed legally as confidential. Therefore, any person wishing to have such information included in an emergency file should be advised that it will not be possible to maintain strict confidentiality in a club setting; his/her written permission/signature should be obtained before including this data.

Time is critical in an emergency, and having this data may save a life.

10. Last -- but NOT least -- SHARE the above plans of action with your club members! Nothing will upset the "best laid plans" like a well-meaning, but interfering "helper" who does not know that everything is under control.

The Federation sincerely hopes that all of the preparation recommended will never be required. It is, however, unrealistic to expect that we will never be faced with emergency situations. To this end, it is our intent that our clubs and their members be well informed and well prepared when it does happen. Submitted by Craig and Susan Allen President, PA Square and Round Dance Federation emergncy.wpd 9/98