5 Emergency Event Medical Service Best Practices for Live Events

With over 3 million live entertainment events and over 50 million people attending per year, someone is bound to get hurt.

Whether a music performer on stage or a fan in the crowd, physical mishaps and unfortunate chaos may erupt at any time if you’re an event planner/promoter or run a venue with live performances.

Most venues think because they’re small or because they’re not holding a large outdoor extravaganza, such as a music fest, they really don’t need emergency event medical services…that is until something happens.

Take the One Direction concert in San Diego, where Harry Styles fell backwards while carrying a microphone stand. Or Kenny Chesney’s 2008 tour when he got his foot caught between the stage and the lift that was supposed to bring him up to it. Or when in a 2012 Lady Gaga concert, she was accidentally hit in the face with a pole by one of her backup dancers.

The list goes on. In all of these instances, a medical team had to be called in and in the meantime, performers kept doing what they do best, performing, while their injury became increasingly worse.

Since event planners and venues are held responsible for performers’ and attendees’ health, safety and conduct, you’ll need to know who to have onsite and who to consult with when things go wrong.

You want to make sure performers and spectators have the proper medical attention they need to mitigate injuries and to ensure a positive experience is had at your venue or event ground, by all.

Below are 5 best practices to reduce the risk of injuries during a live entertainment performance:

  1. Know the Right Resources: Know where the nearest hospitals are located in your city and near your venue or event ground. Better yet, have the right medical team onsite to minimize medical response time and provide immediate attention when needed. That team could comprise of medical personnel such as emergency doctors, paramedics, and other clinicians. The size of your team will depend on the size of your event. For large outdoor events, medical tents are advised for dehydration, intoxication, heart-related ailments, and fainting. For smaller events, an emergency medical physician and a member of his staff to assist may be enough. If your event is a multi-day festival, you may need 24-hour medical services.
  2. Be Ready: Because an accident can happen anywhere and at any time, make sure to have basic first aid kits and a specified location within the venue or event grounds for attendees to seek treatment. Also, what’s the point in having medical services if no one knows they’re available? Make sure you include information of ground location for emergency medical services available on your event website, include on all material distributed to attendees when they enter, and post signs throughout the event of where emergency medical services are provided.
  3. Transportation: If your venue or event ground is in a high-traffic area, work with your Event Medical Director (EMD) or event medical consultant to coordinate the best route in and out for an ambulance or for other medical personnel. Make sure you take into consideration the nearest hospital and/or medical emergency facility and depending on your event, have an ambulance parked outside of your venue or event grounds, on standby.
  4. Training: For any venue or event ground, training everyone from ushers to volunteers to box office staff to security on what they should or should not do, and who to contact when they encounter a medical situation during an event, should be at the top of your planning list. In order to be sure your staff is trained properly, consider inviting an event emergency medical expert to speak on how to handle accidents when they arise to either performers or audience members. This training does not replace medical personnel at venues or events, but rather it ensures all members of your team are on the same page and not left scrabbling, losing valuable time, if and when a medical emergency happens.
  5. Build a team: If you’re venue does not have an EMD on staff, you should consider consulting with an event medical service company in your city with board certified emergency medicine doctor(s) on staff. This service may be an extension of your venue or event ground and will navigate the best course of an emergency medical plan for the audience, performer(s), and their crew.

Each year over 4 million people will be injured and tragically, lose their life attending live performances. Maintaining a safe environment on stage and in the crowd should be at the forefront of every event planner, promoter, venue, or event ground organizer.  And in case medical emergencies arise, having the right event emergency medical service team available to minimize injuries, should be a priority for anyone running an event.

Contact us for a complimentary consultation on emergency medical service for your venue or event.

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