Re: Safety Experiences
RYAN KEIL (RYAN.KEIL@M.CC.UTAH.EDU)
Tue, 13 Jun 1995 21:32:35 -0600
This may not be quite the same venue as others we have all read, but, I
offer it for what worth it may have....
Some years ago, when I was a senior in high school, a Life Scout, a Law
Enforcement Explorer sergeant, and cadet officer in AFJROTC, I had
occassion to take charge of an emergent situation. This happened at our
home football game with our cross-town rival. The year before, when it
was THEIR home game, the game was played at our field because it has a
larger, permenant bleacher/grandstand. This year, for some reason, it
was decided to hold our home game at their field.
Anyway, for the same reason that the game was held at our field the
previous year, it was necessary to erect temporary bleachers. A local
vendor was contracted to bring these in and set them up. This consisted
of a set of manufactured, portable bleachers.
Five minutes before game time, our band was playing, the cheerleaders
were doing their thing, and the crowd was excited--jumping on the
bleachers, footstomping, etc. I was right in the front of these
bleachers acting as an usher--in my AFJROTC uniform. All of sudden, the
bleachers, with over 300 students in them, collapsed. The immediate
reaction of the crowd was panic and flight.
From the training I had received as a Law Enforceent Explorer, I
recognized the immediate need to extricate people from the bleachers,
however, I also realized that this had to be done in a manner that would
prevent further injuries. I happened to be the senior AFJROTC cadet
present, so taking charge was not only natural from my training and
experience, but expected by the other cadets and the people in the
crowd. I looked for the safest avenues of evacuation and sent cadets to
direct people along these routes. I also sent a cadet in the direction
of the ambulance to be sure they were responding, and to direct them to
the best avenue of approach. Finally, I, and another cadet who was also
a Law Enforcement Explorer, began to move cautiosly into the bleachers to
assess injuries and perform a sort-of pre-triage.
My "moment of glory" lasted all of about seven minutes, until most of the
people were out, the injured identified, and EMTs treating them. The
key, in this situation, was the training I had received that enabled me
to prioritize, formulate a plan in an emergent situation, and implement
Many times we talk about how a single injury, or single injured person
was treated. In this situation, training from a BSA program enabled me
to handle a situation involving over 300 potential victims, 8 of which
were sufficiently injured to be hospitalized. I did not perform any
first aid myself, but I helped prevent people from being injured in
Btw, we won the game.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City