A comprehensive post-crisis emergency action plan is crucial. It’s a good idea to put all the elements in an easily accessible envelope. The envelope should contain:

  • Contact list. Phone numbers are crucial in a post-crisis situation. The next supervisor in line, the designated spokesperson, the insurance company, the risk-management system, and the park district should be listed on the contact sheet. Some park districts have their own emergency response team set up to support the facility.
  • Forms. A log of conditions at the time of the incident should all be available. Time, weather, water and air temperatures as well as sun, water conditions, and chemical logs are some factors to record. List the employees and lifeguards directly involved, and the companions who were with the victim.
  • Witness statements. A form prepared with set questions, such as who was located where, what the conditions were, and what happened is also a good idea. Identify a staff member to get nonstaff statements as well.
  • Copies. These should include all lifeguard certification and training records. Make sure these are updated and current. One Arizona facility forgot to do this check and two lifeguards were found without current certification, says Ron Gilbert, attorney and chairman of the Foundation for Aquatic Injury Prevention in Fenton, Mich. “You don’t want a lifeguard [to be deposed] … without current certification,” he says.
  • Camera. Keep a loaded camera ready to take pictures of the scene. These can be become invaluable later.
  • Checklist. Make sure each necessary step is compiled onto a checklist for easy guidance.