by Trevor Connell
I came across an interesting article via the US BizBash site following the latest massacre over there.
In it BizBash CEO David Adler called for event professionals to be trained as “first responders”. Here is the essence of his argument.
What the event industry needs to recognize is that event pros really are the first line of defense in emergencies and should be trained as a form of “first responders.”
Create a roles and responsibilities handbook: Commission a team of experts to advise the industry on its responsibilities in the case of a disruption or potential danger at events.
Train the next generation: Hospitality, tourism, and sports academic programs need to include event safety and first-responder classes in their curriculum as a graduation requirement.
Capture and share best practices: Anyone who is involved with serious disruptive safety issues needs to document key learnings in a universal database that can be used to keep others in the industry informed on best practices.
Create networks: It is critical that local meeting and event associations conduct networking and panel sessions on safety and security with local venues, suppliers, and local law enforcement to foster relationships that could be critical during crisis situations. Local networks are a fountain of knowledge and can pass tips and best practices on an organic basis.
ASE put this concept to Peter Jones, one of the most experienced producers of high profile public events in Australia.
Peter’s response highlights the difference between the Australian experience and that in the US
Probably one of the most ridiculous ideas I’ve heard of. We have just gone through many scenarios with the police and security agencies in relation to public events and our instructions are to basically let the appropriate authorities handle a situation if it arises.
There is simply no way any of my staff are trained to be the first on the scene, nor would I put them in that situation.
Yes, there are a number of procedures we have been briefed to follow but not to the extent outlined in this article. Our risk assessment team clearly outlines what our responsibilities are and how to go about them but at no stage would the police ever allow us to take over in an emergency situation.
So what do you think? Add your comments below.