USM Athletic Emergency Action Plan
EAP's By Venue:
baseball | softball | soccer | field hockey & lacrosse | outdoor track & field and tennis | indoor track & field and tennis | volleyball, basketball & cheering | wrestling | ice hockey | fitness center
The purpose of the Emergency Action Plan (EAP) is to guide athletic personnel, emergency medical services and University Police in responding to emergency situations when they occur. It is essential that the Athletic Department have a developed emergency plan that identifies the role of each member of the emergency response team, emergency communications, the necessary emergency equipment and the emergency protocol for each sporting venue.
Certified athletic trainers (ATC’s) are employed to provide leadership in the health care of the student-athlete including the emergency management of injuries/illnesses during varsity athletic participation, under the direction of the team physician. Coaches, staff supervisors of game management, and athletic training students are required to be trained and maintain certification in first aid, CPR and the prevention of disease transmission (blood borne pathogens). These requirements are in keeping with OSHA standards and with the Campus Environmental Safety and Health Office at the University of Southern Maine. They are also guidelines established in the NCAA Sports Medicine Handbook. This training should be completed prior to being assigned to the emergency care team. However, formal training must be conducted for all new personnel within six months of their employment or assignment to the emergency care team. Their role is to provide assistance to the ATC as part of the emergency medical team in the event of an emergency. Annual review and update of the EAP is conducted with all athletic personnel so that each member of the emergency care team is aware of their respective role in the event of an emergency. The following roles are included in the EAP:
1. Immediate care of the injured/ill athlete(s)
2. Retrieval of emergency equipment
3. Activation of Emergency Medical System (EMS)
4. Directing EMS to the scene
Immediate care of the injured/ill athlete
There shall be at least one trained individual at all practices, competitive events, conditioning, and skill sessions. The minimal training is first aid, CPR and the prevention of disease transmission (blood borne pathogens). These individuals include the ATC, athletic training student(s), coaches, and staff supervisors of game management. Appropriate emergency first aid steps must be taken in accordance with the level of certification that each trained member of the emergency care team has. The Injury/Illness Emergency Protocols are included at the end of this document.
Retrieval of Emergency Equipment
Appropriate emergency equipment must be retrieved from the designated area at the athletic venue and brought to the scene by a member of the emergency care team.
Activation of EMS
One member of the emergency care team will be directed to utilize the emergency communication device (portable two-way radio, cellular phone or stationary hard-wired telephone) to contact the University Police Dispatch who will then activate EMS. This individual shall be trained in activating EMS. They must be calm, have a full understanding of the emergency, communicate well, and be able to identify the location of the emergency. They also must be familiar with use of the emergency communication devices and where they are located if not on their person.
Directing EMS to the Scene
The University Police take on the primary role of activating the EMS system and then directing the local rescue squad to the emergency scene. However, a member of the emergency care team or any member of the athletic staff may go to the appropriate location to assist the University Police in directing EMS to the scene.
A portable two-way radio, cellular phone, or stationary hard-wired telephone is on-site at each varsity athletic practice and competitive event which allows direct contact with University Police Dispatch in the event of serious or life-threatening emergencies. University Police then activates EMS. In the event that an ATC is not on-site for a varsity athletic practice or competitive event, the head coach or qualified designee shall have a portable two-way radio, cell phone, or immediate access to a stationary hard-wired telephone for emergency use. Channel 1 is for general use within designated athletic department personnel and athletic training personnel. When activating EMS via campus telephone, dial 911 to contact the University Police Dispatch. When utilizing cell phone or non-campus telephone, contact University Police Dispatch at 780-5211. If you are located at an off campus venue, such as Gorham High School, call Gorham Fire/Rescue at 839-5555.
Appropriate emergency equipment must be on-hand at all athletic practices and competitive events. All assigned emergency care personnel should be aware of the location and function of all emergency equipment. Emergency supplies and equipment include, first aid supplies (e.g. dressings, bandages, tape, sling, elastic wraps, etc.), breathing devices (airways, bag-valve-mask, and pocket mask), body substance isolation (BSI) materials (protective gloves, gauze, gown, face shield, bleach, neutralizing solution, and spill kit), vacuum splints, spine board (with accessories), *Automated External Defibrillator (AED) and crutches. Training and update on the proper use of said equipment is conducted annually prior to the beginning of the fall academic year for all emergency care personnel. The equipment is checked prior to practices and competitive events for proper function and availability. (See EAP of individual venues for a list of emergency equipment available at each athletic venue.)
Emergency transportation of an injured/ill student-athlete is provided via the EMS system by contacting the University Police Dispatch who will in turn summon an ambulance to the scene of the emergency. An individual of the student-athletes choice may provide transportation to a local emergency room for a student-athlete with a non-life threatening injury/illness. A member of the emergency care team may provide transportation to the emergency room only if adequate emergency care coverage is maintained at the athletic venue. Athletic training students may not transport injured/ill student-athletes via licensed motor vehicle as per College of Nursing and Health Professions policy. Golf cart(s) are available (on-campus only) for transport of student-athletes with minor injuries/illnesses.
EAP in the Event of Lightning
The following steps are modified from those recommended by the NCAA and the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) in the event of lightning or severe storm warning:
1. A member of the emergency care team (ATC, coach, or staff supervisor of event management) is designated to monitor threatening weather conditions and make the decision to remove a team or individuals from an athletic venue or event.
2. Monitoring should include obtaining a weather report prior to a practice or competitive event. Be aware of potential thunderstorms that may form. Be aware of National Weather Service-issued (NWS) thunderstorm “watches” and “warnings” as well as the signs of thunderstorms developing nearby. “Watch” means conditions are favorable for severe weather to develop in an area; a “warning” means that severe weather has been reported in an area and for everyone to take proper precautions.
3. Be aware of how close lightning is occurring. Count the seconds using the flash-to-bang (flash of lightning-to-clap of thunder) method. Count the seconds and divide by five, which gives you the distance, in miles, that the lightning strike occurred. By the time the flash-to-bang count is 30 seconds, all individuals should have moved to safety. Be alert at the first sign of lightning or thunder and judge the time necessary to evacuate all individuals from the athletic venue. Ideally 30 minutes should pass following the last flash of lightning or clap of thunder before resuming athletic activity. (See EAP’s for each of the athletic venues for safe location.)
* An AED is stationed in an alarmed cabinet in the lobby of the Costello Sports Complex. It is located at the rear of the lobby near the restrooms and adjacent to the fire extinguisher. Another AED is located over the counter in the lobby of the USM Ice Arena.