By Russ Simons, Mark Herrera, and Dr. Lou Marciani
The recent events in Las Vegas have identified an area of public assembly facility event operations that involves technical production and event support personnel who need more direction, and we may not be providing all of the information necessary.
In our opinion, this issue requires an industry wide response, which is why we have joined together. This communication is intended to provide some initial direction to facilities of all types, including Arenas, Convention Centers & stadiums, as well as fairs and festivals of all sizes. You can expect that the issues surrounding information, training and response to recent events by public assembly professionals will be included in our continuing commitment to improvement in all areas of Safety and Security in our facilities and at our events.
Questions have been raised about the recommended protocols for technical production and event support personnel who are not regular staff at our facilities and events and how to improve their responses to an emergency situation.
An example is the procedure used to educate and inform visiting teams in many professional sports environments where a mandatory meeting is scheduled with the key staff representing the visiting team and emergency procedures for the facility are communicated using diagrams, maps, or other support information necessary (including rally points etc.) to ensure they know what to do in an emergency situation.
Event-based temporary technical production and event support personnel should be informed of this information through their internal chain of command, i.e., show producers and production managers.
Untrained technical production and event support personnel should never ever take any unilateral action in an emergency situation.
In an emergency situation, technical production and event support personnel should follow the direction of trained Facility, Fair, or Festival staff members.
It is our combined advice that everyone examine the information provided to show producers and production managers to ensure that there is clear direction as to how they, their staff and any sub-contract service providers should respond in an emergency.
We further recommend that everyone look closely at and identify any other areas where as an industry we may not be providing regular and repeated information to any untrained groups in our facilities, fairs and events on how to respond in an emergency. Examples include third party providers for food & beverage concessions, banquet and catering personnel, merchandise sales, not-for profit groups, specialty or one-off programs like designated driver booths and sponsor/partnership activations, and entertainment performers and support personnel.
Russ Simons is on the DHS Public Assembly Facility Sub-Sector Council, Mark Herrera is IAVM Director of Education, and Dr. Lou Marciani is Director of the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4)