This is a guest post from Sarah Rawley, who produces national mountain bike events, races pro in the enduro circuit, and writes about the latest trends and events in the industry. Participating in and producing events that can be high risk gives her plenty of insight on emergency management and she will be contributing a three-part blog series on Medical Services at Endurance Events. Here’s Part 1!
As you get closer to the big day of your event, the checklist continues to grow and more questions emerge that may have not existed when you first set out. Do I have enough volunteers? Should I have an ambulance at the finish line? Do I have a back-up plan and the staffing to execute it?
All of these questions can be daunting, but by taking a few minutes to assess the potential risks of your event, several weeks (or months) in advance, and by hiring event medical staffing to analyze your areas of risk and turn them into areas of safety, you will not only save yourself time and money in the long run, but you can keep your focus where it needs to be on race day and let the experts handle the medical emergencies.
Here are the top 5 reasons why you need to hire emergency management for your next event:
1. Every event has risk, no matter the size or activity
A large event may not in itself increase the risk of injury or illness, but it does raise your odds. An event with novice participants may increase the chance of falls or general unpreparedness for your event’s unique challenges; whereas a smaller field of more advanced participants may have a higher incidence of speed-related falls or more serious trauma. Add to the equation events that are “ultra-distance” or take place in remote locations with unpredictable access to properly equipped, licensed and trained medical professionals, and you need to have your own staff on-course to be able to handle life-threatening emergencies on-the-spot, before 911 responders can dispatch personnel to the situation.
2. It sets your event apart from others
Events with professional medical services on-site that are visible and easy to access make the participants feel safe, and able to enjoy the event knowing if something happens, they will be taken care of. They also feel like the organizer has put considerable thought into that safety and their entry fee is going towards resources that ensure their well-being is a priority.
3. Your Liability is Reduced = Peace of Mind
Let’s face it; putting on events can be high risk and high liability. When it comes to the big things like the unpredictability of weather, monitoring volunteers at aid stations, and handling a potential accident that disrupts your event, you want professionals by your side to help.
Hiring specialized event medical services to come prepared for additional factors like weather means you’ll have the right people stationed and equipped where and when you need them, and ultimately reduces your liability in an emergency situation. Ebin Latrimurti, paramedic and owner of one such company, Event Medical Solutions Unlimited said, “At EMS Unlimited we not only ensure our customers are provided with licensed staff who are properly equipped with medical supplies, we also analyze your event for all potential hazards and handle all the race day medical coordination. We have received countless comments from event directors telling us how valuable it is to take this worry off their mind.”
4. It guarantees compliance of your event permits
More often than not, permits through local land management agencies, cities and towns require extensive operation and medical plans. Hiring the proper medical services to be on-site at your event will guarantee you can check off the list of requirements for an approved permit. Specialized event medical service companies can also help write the medical plan with all of the proper details and terminology, and contact the proper authorities to provide notification of the event, taking the guess-work and leg-work out of it for you.
5. Medical emergencies can happen at any moment completely unannounced
You may be thinking to yourself, “I’ve been putting on my event for five years and haven’t had to hand out anything more than a band-aid.” While this may be true, this does not mean your event is exempt from a medical emergency that, if not handled properly, may potentially be the end of an event.
As an event producer you assume responsibility for providing a safe and enjoyable event for your participants, volunteers and everyone involved. Providing medical standby services to your event is one which should be taken seriously in order to meet your assumed responsibility. There are several options for achieving this goal based on the risk assessment of your event, which we will go over in Part 2: Common Solutions to Providing Medical Services at Your Event….coming next month! Taking the extra effort to provide comprehensive and quality medical care to your event is a bit like car insurance, where a high deductible is less painful on a monthly basis, rather than all at once when you do get into an accident.
This blog is not intended to be 100% conclusive, but rather a quick guide to different options that are available and factors to consider when strategizing your next event medical plan. For a more in-depth analysis of your event, contact Event Medical Solutions Unlimited, LLC at 970-658-0637.
Event directors – what do you think? Comment below to tell us how you plan for emergencies!
About Sarah Rawley:
Raised in the Northwest, Sarah’s instinct moved her to Colorado to pursue skiing in the Rocky Mountains and a B.A. in Technical Journalism from Colorado State University along the way. It didn’t take long for the Colorado mountains to spark a passion for mountain bike racing and since then, she has been on the forefront of producing national mountain bike events and enjoys the creative side of writing about the latest trends and events in the industry. Always a racer at heart, Sarah races pro in the enduro circuit, and is the co-founder of Colorado’s first women’s only mountain bike race.