Last spring we were having a nice night at the chapter house when things suddenly took a turn for the worst. At about 10:45 p.m., three young ladies showed up at the house and started goofing around outside. There was a bag of golf clubs out there, and the girls decided to start swinging them around.
We asked the three girls to stop, but unfortunately it didn’t work.
Ten minutes later, when we went back out to the patio to make sure everything was OK, we realized we should have been more aggressive in stopping the situation. One of the girls was holding her forehead and crying, and another was standing next to her looking shocked – holding a 7 iron. When we pulled the girl’s hand back from her forehead, we found an inch-long, v-shaped gash that was bleeding profusely, just an inch and a half away from her temple.
That’s when the crisis management plan came in handy.
First, we immediately applied first aid to the girl to control the bleeding. When things stabilized, we made our way down to the chapter president’s room to make him aware of the situation and have him take charge. Next we determined that the injured young lady needed to be taken to the hospital, and convinced her that we needed to transport her. Finally, we had our AVC president report the incident to Kathy Johnston, SigEp’s risk management director at Headquarters.
In the end, though it was an awful accident, things could have been a lot worse. The young lady suffered a laceration and a concussion, but got the treatment she needed and was eventually OK.
Following the incident, we took it to heart that we needed to be even more prepared in case something ever occurs again.
Every chapter can use a brush up on SigEp’s official crisis management steps. Take a look at these, and make sure your chapter is ready for any crisis!
Patrick is a senior at San Diego State University.