Sports Injuries Happen: Be Ready With An Emergency Action Plan
Having a plan in place to deal with an injured athlete is important to making sure the response to such an injury is both quick and effective. Such a plan should be discussed and practiced with a small group of volunteers i.e. parents, but not coaches or athletes.
The members of this group will play special roles.
The Charge Person
- Looks after the athlete.
- Assesses the athlete and decides if advanced medical help is required.
- Makes sure the athlete is not moved until they are sure no serious injury has occurred.
- Tells the call person to call the paramedics, if required.
- Performs any first aid that is required.
- Is appropriately trained for this position.
The Call Person
- Makes sure they know where the emergency phones are located and where the exits are located.
- Calls the paramedics if the charge person instructs.
- Makes sure the paramedics have a clear passage way to the athlete.
- Note: Cell phones are not reliable so a landline must be checked before the game to make sure it is functional.
The Control Person
- Controls the crowd including concerned parents of the athlete.
- Recruits help at the scene if needed.
- Relays information from the Charge Person, or the paramedics, to the parents as required.
- Relays information from the coaches to the paramedics e.g. athlete is diabetic.
Each of these positions is crucial to the Emergency Action Plan. And, like any plan, must be rehearsed regularly to make sure everyone knows their place. After an incident, always have a follow-up meeting to assess the plan and to make changes that will improve it.
- When visiting another team, discuss the plan ahead of time with the other team.
- Meet coaches and officials from the other team to make sure you have similar plans.
- Back ups are always required in case one person is away or the injured athlete is a child of one of the members in the plan.