ALL organisations are potentially vulnerable to events beyond their control, which could produce resulting conditions serious enough to severely impact both the organisations members and its employees.
In many instances these critical incidents are catastrophic events that occur with little or no warning, within the club or impacting on the club, thus allowing those people affected little or no opportunity to consider or plan for the incident. Critical incidents may include sudden or traumatic deaths, distressing events or severe accidents. Clonakilty GAA Club chairperson Ger McCarthy has recognised the need for critical incident planning and has drawn up a such a plan for the club, setting up a critical incident management team (CIMT).
‘Clubs need to have the ability to function after trauma or tragedy and needs, in the aftermath, to be in a position to support its members and the wider community.’
The aim of the CIMT is to help club management, members and staff to react quickly and effectively in the event of an incident, to enable us to maintain a sense of control and to ensure that appropriate support is offered to members and staff. ‘Having a good plan should also help ensure that the effects on the members and staff will be limited,’ said Ger.
‘It should enable us to effect a return to normality as soon as possible.’ he continued.
Each team member has been assigned specific roles and responsibilities and defined actions to be implemented in the immediate aftermath of such an event.
The plan also sets out follow-up activities for the days and weeks following the incident.
‘We have put systems in place to help to build resilience in both staff and members, thus preparing us to cope with a range of potential events.’ Ger explained.
‘Hopefully we will never need to implement this plan, however we now have a predefined set of arrangements to be actioned in the event of it ever becoming necessary and the plan provides clarity,’ he said.
The plan is readily available to view in the clubhouse at Ahamilla and also on the Clonakilty GAA Club website.