Person writing out a plan in marker

What's Next?

With the evaluation phase complete, you're ready to assign roles and responsibilities to your emergency response team and employees. When selecting an employee for a role, consider not only that person’s position within your organization, but also his or her personality—specifically risk tolerance. Many people are risk averse, which means they may freeze when the time comes to act. Seek out those individuals who are comfortable in leadership positions involving risk.

For example: "For ordinary people, watching someone collapse and become unconscious is the most daunting emotional moment of their lives, regardless of how many times they have taken CPR." Frank Poliafico, R.N., Director of Education at Emergency University, explains. "In addition to overcoming their fear of being responsible for a life or death situation, they must also overcome cultural hurdles, like touching or undressing a stranger in public. To combat these cultural taboos, you should consider incorporating behavioral science techniques alongside medical science.” Emergency University has designed training programs with these factors in mind.

Staff Roles and Response Structures

Incident Commander/Team Leader: Leads the organizational response and serves as a liaison with outside emergency response agencies. Responsibilities include:

Next is the important process of assessing and evaluating the anticipated actions, personnel, processes, and equipment your organization needs to successfully respond to an emergency. Consider the:

  • Internal notifications
  • External notifications
  • Initial emergency procedures
  • Managing ongoing internal and external communications
  • Managing internal and external reporting
  • Dispatch requests for assistance
  • Direct ongoing emergency activities

Floor Wardens: Assists in the evacuation of the general workforce from pre-designated work areas; responsible for directing the general workforce from their work space through the designated evacuation route to the assembly area.

Security/Search and Rescue Team: Sweeps the building and checks that the building is clear of personnel and assists in the evacuation of distressed personnel. Responsibilities include:

  • Search designated building areas to ensure the workforce has been evacuated
  • Respond to distress calls and assist in evacuation
  • Communicate and report to Incident Commander

General Workforce: Your workforce has one primary responsibility—to safely evacuate the workplace. They do this by taking direction from the Floor Wardens, by following the evacuation plan to reach the pre-designated assembly area and by communicating their safe exit.

With the roles assigned, the final step is to choose a response structure that best fits your organization, based on the level of risk and available personnel and resources. No matter what structure you choose, if you decide to develop multiple emergency response plans for specific incidents such sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), non-medical emergencies, and natural disasters, be sure to use the same workflow in each of your plans. In an emergency, employees respond best to familiar organizational structures.

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