Crisis Scenario – Medical Emergency

Use these crisis scenarios to get a sense of how your team might respond in various emergency situations. Be sure to respond individually and then convene as a group to understand how prepared your meeting & event teams are. Take notes on responses, thoughts, or concerns so that you can consider these when developing your risk management playbook.
Medical Emergency in the Street
Scene 1:

You and other registration staff are checking attendees in. There are about 50 people in line for their badges. There are also a lot of people in the area and heading down the escalators. A man in line starts to make groaning sounds. You can hear him say “Oh my God, I feel terrible.” He is starting to slur his words and is having difficulty standing. He falls down. The people around him notice and start trying to help. Someone starts yelling “Help! He needs help!”

Exercise 1:

Take 5 minutes to write down what you would think, feel and do. Use sticky notes, with one action per note. Post all notes together for all to review.

Scene 2:

The man is unable to speak but is still conscious. He cannot tell you his name and has no wallet or ID on his person. He looks like he might be having a seizure. People are starting to rush over to help. Some are starting to panic, including some of your registration staff. Others who do not realize what is going on are impatient because they want their badge to get into the General Session. No one from hotel security has shown up yet.  You hear a man yelling from the end of the crowd, “Let me through! That’s John Smith, he is a diabetic!” Now everyone sees what is happening and tries to get out of the way.

Exercise 2:

Take 5 minutes to write down your next steps. How are you handling the crowd around John? The panicked staff? Where is security? Who else are you concerned about?  Do not talk to other team members.  Post your responses to Scene 2 next to the responses for Scene

Scene 3:

After 15 minutes, the paramedics and firemen arrive. The responders have entered through the main lobby passing a large group of attendees with a stretcher, plus hotel security is on the scene. Your team’s phones and radios are getting messages from executives asking what is going on. 

Exercise 3:

Take 5 minutes to write down your actions and your messaging on the sticky notes. How are you responding to the paramedics and hotel security when they arrive on scene? Who responds? What is in your messaging to all texts, phone calls and e-mails? Who do you respond to first; what do you say? What should you be doing with the attendees in the area? Will the General Session have to be delayed? 

Brenda Rivers


Meeting Professional – Lawyer – Consultant – Trainer - Author

Brenda Rivers, President and founder of SAFE LLC, is a risk management expert who frequently speaks at major meetings industry events.

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