Four things to include in your Emergency Action Plan

Editor’s Note: This article was submitted by our partner, Go4, in an ongoing series of health and safety-related posts.

Following Buffalo Bills’ Damar Hamlin’s injury, Emergency Action Plans (EAPs) have been front and center across all media outlets. While it may have felt chaotic, the detailed plan put together and reviewed months in advance, helped save the life of Hamlin. An EAP is a document that provides venue-specific details to mount a response to a medical or environmental emergency.

While working with your athletic trainer, here are 4 Things to Include in your EAP:

An Emergency happens – who is doing what, when, and where?

  • Know your role, and execute it. Your athletic trainer and other present medical personnel will be focused on the patient, but there are multiple roles that need to be completed.
  • Questions that need to be answered: How far away is the AED or other life-saving equipment? What’s the average arrival time if an ambulance is needed? Who will manage crowd control?
  • Who is responsible (and how) for communicating with a large crowd if there is a weather or missing-person emergency instead of an injury?

Who is the keeper of the keys?

  • Make sure you note which gates/doors/elevators/stairways/rooms need to be unlocked or cleared for access to emergency equipment and for EMSs to get through.
  • Field and stadium signage should be marked, but a staff member should also be in charge of directing the ambulance to the incident.

A medical emergency, but it doesn’t require EMS

  • If you’re running an event at a new venue, list the address and contact information for the nearest hospital in your EAP. Remember that for more metropolitan areas there may be several.
  • Add the nearest urgent care and nearest pharmacies, because not every issue will require the emergency department.
  • For large events, call local first-responders and notify them of the time and date of your event.

Lastly – the cold, rain and snow!

  • Emergency Action Plans are not just for catastrophic injuries. They should also include weather related policies, including but not limited to: heat, cold, lightning and acts of God.
  • Work with your athletic trainer or the state athletic trainers society to draft weather policies based on the available equipment.
  • Monitor the weather with a high-powered app like WeatherSentry Sports Edition. Weatherbug is great for family vacation, but not powerful enough if a tornado is approaching and there are 5,000 spectators to evacuate.

Need an athletic trainer? Go4 is a nationwide app/platform that connects teams and organizations with per diem athletic trainers for games, practices, camps, clinics and tournaments. For more information, or to find and hire an athletic trainer, visit our partners at Go4 –


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