Safety & Security: Recreation & Outdoor Security
Severe Weather Safety at Outdoor Venues
by Brad Nelson September 2017
Monitoring the weather, understanding the threat and making the call to evacuate for the safety of players and fans is no easy task, and it's one that venue managers must take seriously.
Razor Blades Embedded in Slides at Two Texas Parks
by Courtney Cameron July 2017
A city maintenance crew in Huntsville, Texas, made a troubling discovery that underlines the need for regular and vigilant safety inspections of municipal playgrounds.
Death of Toddler Raises Goal Post Safety Concerns
by Courtney Cameron May 2017
Over the weekend in Antioch, Tenn., two-year-old Melanie Rodriguez was killed by a soccer goal when it was blown over by a strong wind, landing on top of her. The accident has gotten people talking about the dangers of unsecured equipment.
IRONMAN Director Discusses Event’s Unique Security Challenges
by Alison Crumpton November 2016
When we asked John Bertsch, director of public safety emergency management for the IRONMAN Triathlon World Championships, what safety and security issues keep him up at night he chuckled and replied, "A lot. We are on a volcanic island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with 2,700 world-class athletes representing more than 80 countries ocean swimming 2.4 miles, cycling 112 miles — in 90-degree temperatures and 80 percent humidity — and running a 26.2-mile marathon through the lava fields."
Understanding the Latest FAA Drone Regulations
by Emily Attwood July 2016
Over the past several years, drones have risen to the top of the threat list for athletic venue operators, leading to venue-specific bans on the devices as well as blanket bans by the FAA at larger sports venues and by the National Park Service outside of designated areas.
Preparing for a Weather-Related Stadium Evacuation
by Emily Attwood February 2016
Risks at sporting events such as active shooters, bomb threats and fan violence can all be lessened through proper security measures, ensuring a safer sporting event. However, another essential component of emergency action planning — severe weather — is harder to avoid.
Chicago Marathon Organizers Share Tips for Event Safety
by Emily Attwood February 2016
This past October, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon saw approximately 45,000 participants. The day started with clear skies and a temperature in the mid 50s, climbing into the 70s as the day progressed. The first men's and women's runners crossed the finish line at 2:09:25 and 2:23:23, respectively, and throughout the course of the day, 45 competitors were taken to the hospital and many more treated at aid stations located throughout the course.
How to Protect Athletes and Fans From Lightning Strikes
by Dennis Van Milligen July 2015
It was 1996, but Bob Dugan remembers it like it was yesterday. Soccer referee John Wade, after being alerted by a weather-detection system that a storm was on its way, removed fourth- and fifth-grade kids from the field of play. Once the storm passed, they resumed activity at Northeast Park in Park Ridge, Ill. The belief was that the storm had moved over Lake Michigan approximately 45 miles away. But instead, the storm came back, and a lightning strike killed the 20-year-old referee.
Defending Against an Active Shooter at Your Athletic Facility
by Kim Clark and Rachel O'Mara June 2015
An active shooter is defined by the federal government as "an individual engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area, typically through the use of firearms." Active-shooter incidents in the United States have increased exponentially from 2000 to 2013, and over the past seven years the U.S. has averaged 16.4 active-shooter incidents per year, which equates to roughly one every three weeks.
FBI Special Agent Katherine Schweit Talks Active-Shooter Training
by May 2015
The FBI, in collaboration with Texas State University's ALERRT Center, is in the process of training law enforcement officers around the country in active-shooter response. Special Agent Katherine Schweit is the senior executive responsible for the FBI's active-shooter training — the most extensive effort of its kind, initiated following the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy in Newtown, Conn., in 2012. Gameday Security editor in chief Dennis Van Milligen recently talked with Special Agent Schweit about the active-shooter training, which is free to law enforcement officers, and why it is so important for those officers and campus safety personnel responsible for protecting sports venues and events.