How to create an Emergency Action Plan

By Stephen Spiewak | Posted 4/15/2016

Creating an Emergency Action Plan is among the most important responsibilities that league commissioners and officials are tasked with.

Ideally, situations that necessitate the use of an Emergency Action Plan would never arise. However, emergencies do occur, and it is important to be prepared and have a road map for how to respond.

Emergencies are not limited to what takes place between the sidelines. They can transpire elsewhere at the facility or be the result of weather affecting an entire region.

Coaches, trainers and facility workers should understand how the plan works and what they are responsible for.

April is National Youth Sports Safety Month, so spend time these next few weeks to create or update your organization’s plan. Here are some sample items to include in an Emergency Action Plan. It is not a comprehensive list, and each plan will vary by program and facility.


  • EMS personnel access and entry/exit routes
  • Location of rescue and first aid equipment
  • Location of telephones with emergency telephone numbers posted
  • Location of keys to reach telephones or equipment
  • Exits and evacuation routes


  • Rescue equipment
  • Automatic External Defibrillator (AED)
  • First aid supplies
  • Emergency equipment (flashlights, fire extinguishers, etc.)

External support

  • Police
  • EMS personnel
  • Fire
  • Hazardous materials (HazMat) team
  • Poison Control Center
  • Hospitals
  • Power and gas companies
  • Health department
  • Weather bureau

How and when to call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number

  • Chain of command
  • Person to contact-parents or guardians
  • Person to deal with media

Support personnel within facility

  • Coaches
  • Athletic trainers
  • Athletic officials and referees
  • Facility administrators
  • Management personnel
  • Teachers
  • School nurse/physician
  • Athletic Director
  • Clerical personnel
  • Maintenance personnel

External support (provide telephone numbers)

  • EMS personnel
  • Police
  • Fire
  • Hazardous materials (HazMat) team
  • Poison Control Center
  • Hospitals
  • Power and gas companies
  • Health department
  • Weather bureau

Staff responsibilities (Assign each staff member a duty)

  • Person to provide care
  • Person to control bystanders and supervise other athletes
  • Person to meet EMS personnel
  • Person to transport injured athlete when appropriate


  • Complete appropriate documentation (incident report, accident report, etc.)
  • Replace equipment and supplies
  • Emergency Action Plan evaluation
  • Staff debriefing
  • Critical Incident Stress debriefing (if necessary)
  • Check on condition of injured athlete