Preparing an Emergency Action Plan (EAP)
Do you have a plan in place should a serious injury occur to one of your athletes? What would you do first? Who would you call for assistance?
An Emergency Action Plan (EAP) is a plan coaches design to help them respond in a responsible and clear-headed way if an emergency occurs.
An EAP should be prepared for the facility or site where you normally hold practices and for any facility or site where you regularly host competitions. For away competitions, ask the host team or host facility for a copy of their EAP.
An EAP can be simple or elaborate. It should cover the following:
- Designate in advance who is in charge if an emergency occurs (this may be you).
- Have a cell phone with you and make sure the battery is fully charged. If this is not possible, find out the exact location of a telephone you can use at all times. Have spare change in case you need to use a pay phone.
- Have emergency telephone numbers with you (facility manager, superintendent, fire, police, ambulance), as well as athletes’ contact numbers (parents/guardians, next of kin, family doctor).
- Have on hand a medical profile for each athlete so that this information can be provided to emergency medical personnel. Include in this profile signed consent from the parent/guardian to authorize medical treatment in an emergency.
- Prepare directions for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to follow to reach the site as quickly as possible. You may want to include information such as the closest major intersection, one-way streets, or major landmarks.
- Have a first-aid kit accessible and properly stocked at all times (all coaches are strongly encouraged to pursue first-aid training).
- Designate in advance a call person: the person who makes contact with medical authorities and otherwise assists the person in charge. Be sure that your call person can give emergency vehicles precise directions to your facility or site.
For more on choosing appropriate activities as part of planning effective practices, consider the “Planning a Practice” module, part of the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) multi-sport modules series available through your Provincial or Territorial Coaching Representative.