Building an Aquatics Emergency Action Plan: Questions to Consider

Having a strong aquatics emergency action plan (EAP) in place and practicing it from start to finish will help your lifeguards and other staff know what to expect and what their roles and responsibilities are before an actual emergency occurs. This is extremely important as every second counts when responding and providing care to a victim.

Below are some questions to ask yourself when building or reviewing/updating your aquatics emergency action plan. Please note this list is not exhaustive but includes some of the main items to keep in mind.

  • Have we consulted with our local emergency responders on our EAP?
  • How will staff initiate the EAP to alert others that there is an emergency?
  • Is all of our emergency response equipment in a central location and easy to retrieve?
  • How will 911 be called when an emergency occurs?
  • Who will be in charge of clearing the pool?
  • Who will be responsible for supervising any children who are using the pool and in our programs?
  • How many people are required to respond to an emergency?
  • Can our emergency procedures be accomplished with the fewest guards we have at one time?
  • Will we be relying on others in the facility (ex. guests and members) to complete any of the steps in our EAP?
  • If we rely on staff from outside the aquatics department, are we able to practice our EAP with them?
  • Do we have control over all of the steps in our EAP?
  • Do we make it a practice to debrief our EAP after an incident?