Public safety program, developed by experts including section members, complies with fire code requirements
Fatal disasters, such as the Indiana State Fair 2011 stage collapse and the 2003 The Station nightclub fire, clearly illustrate the need for trained crowd managers to prevent repeat catastrophes. The Crowd Manager Training program is aimed at making public gatherings safer by teaching event staff how to be better crowd managers.
Fire chiefs, fire marshals and inspectors must require trained crowd managers to comply with the International Fire Code, NFPA-101 Life Safety Code, NFPA-1 Fire Code and many local ordinances that address safety in public-assembly occupancies. However, fire professionals have few choices about what training should be provided.
The Crowd Manager Training program, created by Fire Marshal Support Services, was developed in conjunction with a committee of fire marshals and other public safety community professionals, including members of the IAFC's Fire & Life Safety Section (FLSS), and in compliance with fire code requirements.
"The intent of the code requirement is to ensure that an adequate number of people on staff are trained to avoid an emergency if possible and react appropriately should an emergency occur," said Adolf Zubia, FLSS chair and former chief of Las Cruces (N.M.) Fire Department. "This affordable training program will enhance public safety and provide a clear path to code compliance."
Participants who successfully complete the course will learn how to:
- Conduct pre-event inspections to identify problems with exits and egress paths and ensure required fire systems are operational
- Use a portable fire extinguisher
- Guide the crowd in an emergency
- Recognize when to use protection strategies, including defend-in-place, evacuation or partial evacuation
- React to deteriorating weather conditions
- Identify problem attendees and how to respond once they're identified
- Coordinate with emergency responders