Public Safety Program Developed by Experts Including State Fire Marshals Complies with Fire Code Requirements
Fatal disasters such as the Indiana State Fair 2011 stage collapse, the 2003 The Station nightclub fire and similar tragedies clearly illustrate the need for “trained crowd managers” to prevent repeat catastrophes. A new training program endorsed by and available through the International Code Council and National Association of State Fire Marshals is aimed at making public gatherings safer by teaching event staff how to be better crowd managers.
Building and fire officials have the responsibility to require trained crowd managers in compliance with the International Fire Code, NFPA-101 the Life Safety Code and the NFPA-1 Fire Code and many local ordinances to address safety in public assembly occupancies, but have few choices about what training should be provided. The International Fire Code requires trained crowd managers in public assemblies with 1,000 or more occupants and, at the code official's discretion, for certain assemblies in tents.
“It's important to understand that the code requirement doesn't mean that business owners have to hire more people, rather, the idea is that existing employees can get training in crowd management to be code compliant,” said Jim Tidwell, principal at Tidwell Code Consulting and a veteran of the Fort Worth, Texas, Fire Department who rose to the rank of chief. “This affordable training program will enhance public safety and provide a clear path to code compliance.”
Students who successfully complete the course will acquire the knowledge to:
- Conduct pre-event inspections to identify problems with exits and egress paths, and assure required fire systems are operational
- Use a portable fire extinguisher
- Guide the crowd in an emergency
- Recognize and when to use protection strategies, including defend-in-place, evacuation or partial evacuation
- React to deteriorating weather conditions
- Identify problem attendees, and what to do once they’re identified
- Coordinate with emergency responders
Students can register for and take this 2-hour interactive online course at www.crowdmanagers.com.