Are your teams ready and prepared for the unexpected and what does this have to do with the whole Connection/Assimilation process?
A few years ago a woman had a massive heart attack in the middle of worship. Our Ushers immediately noticed and responded, carrying her out of the main auditorium to a cleared space, called 911 and radioed our Security/Medic team who grabbed the defibrillator and began to revive her. By the time the ambulance arrived, they had restored her heartbeat. Unfortunately, she did pass away, but not before her family was able to reach her to say goodbye.
Your connection teams are your first line of defense and usually your first responders in the event of an emergency. Are you training your teams to be safety and security minded? If not, here are some things you can communicate that will heighten their awareness to expect the unexpected:
- Be alert to suspicious people: Anyone walking towards the platform, appears to have a weapon, standing in service at inappropriate times, carrying a backpack or suitcase, wearing a trench coat (Contact Security immediately and individuals will be removed immediately by appropriate force if needed)
As a first line of defense in the auditorium, we stanchion off the aisles in front of the platform and reserve the two seats on the end of every row for people we are familiar with.
- Do your staff and volunteers know where the fire extinguishers are located? They are the people that your congregation will be looking to for guidance in the event of a fire.
- Do they know where the emergency exits are and do you have an evacuation plan?
- Do your ushers have flashlights in the event the power goes out and they need to help people exit the building in the dark?
- Do your staff and volunteers know who your medic and security teams are for the weekend?
- Do you have defibrillators and medic bags that are located close by and easy to access?
- Do your team leaders use radios so they can instantly communicate with Security and Medic teams if necessary?
- Have all of your volunteers gone through a background check and been cleared to serve?
This is not an exhaustive list, but for your greeters, ushers, kids and parking teams, this will help them to provide that first line of defense that could ultimately save lives. Prepare your teams to expect the unexpected.