Does the church have a medical emergency response plan?
Oftentimes, religious organizations are faced with a minor medical incident that needs nothing more than First Aid. Other times, churches may find themselves in the middle of a full-blown medical emergency. Knowing what to do in either situation can mean the difference between the incident staying minor or developing into a crisis.
A medical emergency is something nearly every church has experienced or will sometime soon. Because the likelihood of a medical emergency is so high, this is another key area in your emergency response plan. Please consider these recommendations as you develop your plan:
- Train ushers and other front-line staff on how to respond to medical emergencies.
- Coordinate and provide basic First Aid, CPR and AED (Automated External Defibrillator) training for ushers, staff and volunteers.
- Designate a leader to direct others during a medical emergency.
- Identify medical personnel within the congregation and request their assistance.
- Have a well-stocked, up-to-date First Aid kit that is easily accessible. Since the first several minutes are critical, the right supplies should be on hand.
- Practice your medical emergency response procedures.
- If the person is injured in a fall or accident: Do not move them. Call 911 immediately.
- In the event of an injury or other medical emergency:
- Call 911 or a designated individual listed in an emergency contact list.
- Identify your location, church name, address, and area of the building to the dispatcher.
- Describe the situation (e.g. what happened, type of injury and help needed).
- Obtain or provide First Aid.
- Alert designated church leader(s) that an emergency is occurring.
- Contact a staff member who has reference to any personnel files for medical emergencies.
- Designate an individual to notify the family.
- Station ushers or other volunteers in the parking lot to direct emergency medical responders.
We don’t often think of emergency medical situations before they happen but some advance planning and training could have a profound impact on the final results. Remember, if there is a medical situation, always err on the side of caution.
Credit to GuideOne Insurance for the content on some of this information.