Perfect Your Loss-Prevention Program

3. Identify all guests and employees who witnessed the event, and gather them in a secure area. If possible, use a room away from the scene where they can be interviewed privately. Interview employees first and then guests. Use a pre-established form to record:

· Contact information

· Age

· Members of the person’s party

· Their version of the incident.

After the interview, ask the person to review the form to make sure everything is correct; ask the person to initial each page of the form.

Note: The information gathered during the interviews is highly confidential and should only be shared with your general manager, safety director and defense team if litigation occurs. Employees should be instructed not to discuss this information with anyone, including other employees, media representatives, family or friends.

Interacting With The Media

Another important part of the emergency-crisis plan is controlling and disbursing information surrounding the accident or incident, not only at the time of the event but throughout media coverage, which may continue for days or longer. Many times when a significant accident or incident occurs, the media will come to the facility to report on it. To thwart any aggressive or potentially slanted media coverage, it is necessary to control the information in a professional manner.

Be Prepared With Standard Press Releases

Before an incident ever happens, the media/press department should create press releases for every common or conceivable type of accident/incident that may occur. In addition, several feature stories or detailed press releases should be created to provide:

· Facility history

· Facility statistics

· Activities available at the facility

· Number of visitors to the facility

· Facility safety records

· Safety records of any equipment involved in the accident or incident

· Copies of any prior positive news stories and press releases.

Additionally, the media department should have formal press kits assembled for distribution at any time. The information should be updated regularly.

Holding A Press Conference

Make a meeting/conference room available for all press conferences. If no room is available, set up an exterior site away from the accident or incident location for the initial press conference. All media are directed and/or escorted (preferred) to this press conference location upon entering the facility. If possible, have beverages, snacks and press kits waiting, along with a pre-press conference “Host.” Be sure to copy press credentials for each person prior to beginning the press conference, and retain their business cards.

Start the press conference by making a statement from the press director, and then take questions. The goal is to ensure that accurate information is delivered and that the facility is presented in the best light possible. The press should be escorted to the scene only after all witnesses have been secluded for interviews and the injured have already been transported to a local hospital.

Post-Emergency Actions/Emergency Site Procedures

Make sure the press director contacts the media on a regular basis with updates/resolutions of the event. Make the media your friends for future relationships and more positive news and feature stories about your facility.

George Laibe is certified in loss prevention for amusement and recreation facilities. He lives near Phoenix, Ariz., and can be reached via e-mail at

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Related posts:

  1. PRM — Prevention, Recognition and Management
  2. A Plan For Action
  3. From The Top Down
  4. Lifesaving And Emergency Equipment
  5. Just In Case

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