Emergency Planning & First Aid

Everyone must also be prepared to react in the event of a serious injury. The following are some guidelines to help you implement effective Emergency Planning and First Aid at your event:

  • Recruit only reliable, responsible doctors, dentists, physiotherapists, St. John Ambulance attendants, or other medical professionals for your event.
  • Maintain an accurate injury report log during the event.
  • Ensure that each team has an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) in place and that someone familiar with your arena and community assists the Call Person and Control Person on each team with directing emergency personnel to the arena and ice surface. Ensure that medical support staff, who will be at the arena at all times, review each team’s Emergency Action Plan with team personnel. If your event does not involve individual teams, you should implement an EAP for your event.
  • Ensure that every team knows the location of telephones, First Aid Kits and stations, stretchers and Fire Exits within the arena facility.
  • Provide each team with an emergency telephone directory including numbers for the doctor and dentist on call, the physiotherapist or certified athletic therapist, any emergency numbers (911 if applicable), including ambulance service, police, fire department and any other important numbers.

Emergency Action Plan (EAP)

With any involvement in physical activities an encounter with potential serious injury is a possibility. Time becomes of critical importance with a severe injury and whether an injured player will recover completely and properly depends not only on the nature of the injury but the emergency care and treatment the player receives. The EAP is a standardized response designed to deal with any emergency in an organized and efficient manner.

Team hockey safety people and rink personnel should be prepared for any emergency situation and it is recommended that these people receive as much First Aid training as possible. Teams should have a qualified trainer or someone on the bench qualified in First Aid procedures. It is recommended that medically trained personnel be available to assist in the proper care of an injured player especially in the older age groups where injuries may be more common and more serious.

The following is an outline of each person’s role in the EAP:

Person in Charge

This would normally be the Safety Person, or the individual with the most specialized training in injury care. The duties of the Person in Charge include initially take control and assess the situation when coming into contact with the injured player. Once you have determined the severity of the injury, decide whether or not an ambulance or medical care is required. If you are certain that an ambulance is not necessary, then decide on what action is to be taken to remove the player from the ice surface. If an ambulance is required, notify your Call Person, give a brief explanation of the injury, and tell them to call for an ambulance. Make a note of the time at which the injury occurred and keep track in writing of all pertinent facts regarding the accident, including time of occurrence (e.g. time of ambulance arrival, etc.).

Call Person

The Call Person is responsible for making the telephone call when emergency help is required. The Call Person should ideally be someone who is at all games and practices but is not responsible for the bench area, and watches games and practices from the stands. The Call Person’s responsibilities include knowing the location of all emergency telephones or pay phones, in every facility in which your team plays, having a list of all emergency telephone numbers in every location in which your team plays (AND KNOWING IF 911 IS AVAILABLE IN THE AREA).

When placing the call for emergency assistance:

  • Speak clearly and calmly at all times.
  • State to the dispatcher that it is a medical emergency.
  • Give the location of the arena facility (State name of arena and address).
  • State what type of emergency it is and give the dispatcher a brief explanation of the injury (is the player conscious?bleeding? breathing normally?).
  • Give the dispatcher the telephone number from which you are placing the call in the event that they must call back for more information.
  • Give the dispatcher the best route into the arena facility and to the ice surface.
  • Ask for the estimated time of arrival for the ambulance.
  • Remain on the line until you are certain the dispatcher is finished asking questions and that your call has been transferred.
  • Report back to the Person in Charge to confirm that the call for emergency help has been placed, and give them the estimated time of arrival for emergency assistance.

Control Person

The Control Person is responsible for controlling the crowd and other participants to ensure that the EAP is executed effectively. The Control Person’s responsibilities include:

  • Ensuring no one is in the way of the Person in Charge and the injured player.
  • Discussing the EAP with opponents, officials and arena staff.
  • Ensuring a proper room is available to attend to the injured player if requested by the Person in Charge or emergency personnel.
  • Ensuring that the route for the ambulance crew to the ice surface is clear and available. 
  • Seeking highly trained medical personnel in the arena facility if the Person in Charge believes the injury is serious and cannot wait for emergency assistance to arrive. This can be accomplished by using the loud speaker or having arena staff ask throughout the facility.

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