After spending 10 years as a PGA Professional at some of America’s most prestigious clubs, I saw my fair share of medical emergencies. I once had a member faint of heat stroke just steps away from me. Another time, I had a guest go into cardiac arrest on the 18th fairway. Emergencies are going to happen. The only way to handle them properly and potentially save a life is to have a plan in place.
- Create Your Plan
Who is doing what in case of emergency? Don’t ever assume that even your most seasoned employee will handle themselves correctly during an emergency. Think of how an emergency may play out (i.e. a member has a heart attack on the golf course). Iron out the details of what will be required of each staff member. Who is calling 911? Who is going to meet and escort the ambulance from the entrance of your property? Who has been trained with the defibrillator? Who is CPR certified?
- Practice Makes Perfect
This is no secret. The only way you can trust your staff to react accordingly is to practice. Create a mock scenario and run through it as if it is the real thing. Run through a scenario on the golf course, then a scenario in the dining room, sports complex, etc. Practice the scenario in each area of your facility.
- Communication is the Key
The entire staff should have radios for effective communication. The nearest staff member may use their cell phone to call 911, but they still need to alert the rest of the staff of the medical emergency so everyone can pitch in. The emergency alert call should go to one main location that can alert the rest of the staff (i.e. golf shop). Don’t forget to communicate with other departments (i.e. the guard gate)!
- Assess How Your Staff Responded
The assessment post emergency or practice scenario is essential. If there were any imperfections, discuss how they can be improved. Get feedback from your staff and if they recommend any changes, consider the changes. Don’t assume you know better than your troops on the ground.
I can tell you from experience, having a plan in place that has been practiced can save a life. Be sure your staff and team are ready for that emergency.
At Gulfshore Insurance, we specialize in insurance and risk management for golf and country clubs. We work with more than 50 clubs throughout Florida and we are happy to assist you with training materials, safety programs, and insurance for your club.
Jeffrey Sanders, TRIP is Client Advisor at Gulfshore Insurance. Jeff works with a wide range of business clients to deliver strategic risk analysis, guidance, and insurance. Comments and questions are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org