Emergency Policy and Procedure
What is a college emergency?
An emergency at college can be:
An occasion where a student, staff member, visitor, or other user suffers or is at risk of suffering from a life-threating injury or episode, be that due to a pre-existing/previously unknown health condition or from an accident – on or off site;
Another kind of accident, incident or exceptional circumstance occurring on-site that cannot be dealt with or fully dealt with by the management team and/or other staff as part of day-to-day procedure;
Another kind of accident, incident, or exceptional circumstance occurring off-site during a trip or visit that cannot be dealt with or fully dealt with by the team leading the trip or visit as part of standard procedure;
“Other kinds of accidents, incidents, or exceptional circumstances” could include those related to major travel accidents, extreme weather, violent rallies or demonstrations, various explosions, and even terror attacks or attempted terror attacks.
College responses to emergencies must therefore be sufficiently wide-ranging and flexible to accommodate a great many possible scenarios.
The role of College and Staff:
In the event of an emergency, college reception will become the control base from which co-ordination and management of the situation will take place by the emergency team. Unauthorised individuals (including students and staff) must not attempt to go inside this area, or block/get in the way of activities being carried out, even if trying to help.
Normally, the emergency team (management) will be directed by Tim. If not available, Moz will deputise. In the extreme case of the non-availability of either, another senior member of staff such as senior teacher can be delegated to assume temporary lead.
Visits, Trips, and Excursions Procedure:
Before commencing a trip, visit or excursion of any kind, be it an activity-based or teaching-based one, the person leading the event must take responsibility for conducting and completing a comprehensive risk assessment, which must be signed off as sufficiently comprehensive by Tim or Moz.
As well as identifying commonplace risks (such as crossing the road, boarding a train, etc), risk assessments should highlight facilities that could be used in the event of an emergency scenario unfolding. These could include: locating possible places for shelter/refuge, should it be needed for a short or longer period of time (including overnight stays in hotels or hostels), assessing alternative travel options, should they be unexpectedly needed, identifying the location of hospitals with A and E departments, as well as nearby walk-in clinics, pharmacies, etc.
If an activity or trip involves more than one under-18-year-old participant, student to staff ratio of 1:5 must be maintained, even in the light of one member of staff accompanying an under-18 student to hospital or elsewhere (such as unplanned returns to accommodation quarters). This must be identified on the relevant risk assessment and other trip/visit paperwork.
How should staff handle an off-site emergency?
The person designated as leader will take control, making sure student groups are kept and wherever possible protected together. The leader will be required to assess situations, work out next steps, and supervise or undertake the counting/name checking of all students so that all are (continually) accounted for, taking specific note of under 18s.
The leader must ensure that all students remain supervised and are aware of what is required of them to keep safe. They may need to contact emergency services or delegate this role to another staff member. They must contact the Academic Manager who will then prepare the college control base, and they must keep that person updated. In the light of injury, the leader may need to administer first aid, or delegate this to a qualified first aider.
The leader will, at the earliest possible opportunity, make sure the group moves away from danger, and, again, when possible, make/start a record of proceedings in the most accurate and timely manner possible.
College staff operating the control base:
Keep calm, ascertain all information/data/actions taken from the group leader, and offer relevant advice (such as how/where to locate refuge, hospitals, etc).
You should continue to advise re: directions, food and drink supplies, safe places, travel options/arrangements, etc, and keep a record of the situation as in unfolds.
Collect records from the group leader and complete your own records, making sure the leader’s records are also included or attached.
At a later stage, but in less than two days, if possible, arrange a debrief/emergency response meeting with appropriate staff; review good and less effective practices adopted during the emergency.
This would the trigger a revisiting and evaluation of all related policy and procedure.
Review: Reviewed August 2021 (TC). This document to be reviewed by the Management Team not less than every six months. Next review due February 2022. It will also be subject to any changes based on UK law.