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Emergency procedures in gyms

Updated July 20, 2017

Emergency procedures in gyms are the plans that are enacted during an emergency. It can be as simple as the gym losing electricity, a medical emergency, a fire or a weather-related situation. Gyms will have an emergency action plan (EAP) on file that all gym personnel will be aware of and will be able to put into action when it is needed.

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Chain of Command

Each gym will have a chain of command that is enacted during an emergency. It will generally be an EMT or ambulance personnel, followed by the athletic trainer, the club first responders, the gym staff and then a club member who is trained in CPR. Emergencies happen at any time, and there will be occasions that the top of the chain will not be in attendance, which is why there is a chain of command. If an EMT is not present, then the next person in line would be in charge of the emergency.

Activation of EAP

The person in charge will make the decision to activate the EAP. Generally, gym staff or lifeguards will access public safety or EMS. If it is a medical emergency, the people who are trained in CPR and first aid will remain with the victim. The person in charge will direct gym personnel as to what they should do while the plan has been activated.

Location of Equipment

Every gym will have emergency equipment on hand. There will be a first aid kit, a telephone, fire extinguishers and often an automated external defibrillator (AED) on site. Everyone who works at the gym will know where this equipment is located.

Posting of Emergency Procedure

Most gyms will have their EAP posted in a prominent location so that all of the information is readily available in an emergency. In addition to listing the chain of command and location of emergency equipment, it may also list the address and telephone number of the gym. It can also have directions to the gym posted. People often do not think clearly during an emergency, and having the EAP posted with all pertinent information can save time when time matters.

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About the Author

Starting out as a sports writer, Kim Evans has expanded her area of expertise to include fitness and sports. Evans has a B.S. degree in recreation management and journalism. She is also a longtime fitness professional specializing in functional fitness training, and a track and field coach and official. She holds several national certifications in fitness and coaching.

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