Create an EAP
Emergency Action Plan (EAP) is a strategically planned, written, and visual document meant to coordinate individuals during potential emergencies.
Many professionals understand the importance of EAP in the sports field, but may not know how exactly to create one, for example:
“Since we are a youth team in action, we don’t seem to be able to create an EAP because we don’t have a doctor, nurse, athletic trainer, or other professional staff.”
“It would be easier to understand if the EAP had a map by area, but I’m not good at working with computers so I can’t make one.”
In many countries, EAPs are mandatory and even if there are no specialized staff, instructors at high schools or other sites create them. This shows how necessary having the knowledge of EAP creation is in order to maintain and normalize the usage of EAP worldwide.
When creating an EAP, it is important to envision the types of emergencies that may occur. EAP is a necessary preparation for fulfilling the responsibility to provide aid when an emergency occurs.
The first thing to anticipate in a sports setting is sudden cardiac death, head and neck injuries, and heat stroke, which are the most common causes of fatalities in sports. Sports Safety Japan calls these three major causes of fatal sports accidents “Triple H” – Heart, Head, Heat. Still, we must not forget about broken bones, dislocations, lightning accidents, and water accidents in swimming pools, etc.
Now, we will explain how to create an EAP for any sports field in just 5 steps, so that leaders who are not professional staff, but are, however, coaching children, can easily acquire such knowledge:
Step 1: Gather and fill in the information to be included in the EAP
First, we have to gather all the necessary information required, which includes the placement of personnels, the location of emergency equipment, contact information, and the roles and responsibilities of the individuals involved.
Once the EAP is completed, it is important to share information and request cooperation from the facility's safety officer, facility administrator, and surrounding medical facilities. Sharing and collaborating on the information in the EAP is key.
Essential content that must be included in the EAP includes:
Facility/ area-specific maps and respective routes
Location of first aid equipment
Basic information (convention name, facility name, address, etc.)
Emergency contact information (emergency response personnel and emergency contacts, including cabs, hospitals, etc.)
Step 2: Map the facility (area)
The most common method is to screenshot a map of the area around the venue from Google Maps and insert it into the system. For stadiums and indoor sports, you can see the relationship with the surrounding area, but not the inside of the field or court.
Sports Safety Japan, in collaboration with Sunbears, have developed EAP Draw – a software that makes it easy to create EAPs free of charge to its members. With EAP Draw, fields and courts for each sport are already prepared, so you can select and create them by moving the cursor as if you were drawing a picture.
Step 3: Fill out the map by facility (area)
Even if the necessary items are listed, if they are difficult to understand, it will not be possible to respond quickly. Depending on the sports site, emergency response may vary based on the first aid equipment and personnel available. It is also necessary to have a clear plan for how to announce and lead spectators to a safe place.
Step 4: Fill in the role assignments
There are four roles to be filled in the event of an emergency on the sports field: treatment, communication, procurement, and guidance. These may vary depending on who is in the emergency situation. If an athlete collapses during a game, the leader or a referee will be the main person to respond, but if a spectator collapses, the tournament management or facility administrator may take initiative.
Just as important is to remember that you, as the leader, must be prepared for the possibility of falling yourself, and be considerate of the impact such situation may have on the children you are teaching.
Step 5: Validate & reflect on the EAP in a simulation exercise
Once the EAP has been completed, make sure to conduct a simulation drill under the assumption that an emergency situation has occurred to verify whether you can respond as planned. If there are problems, get the resolutions and further apply them in the EAP.
- Emergency 999, Scouts (2022)
- Are You Prepared for an Emergency? – Annual Sports Safety Symposium 2019 – Tokyo, Japan, Sunbears (2019)
- Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator