6.4 Emergency Response Plan (ERP)

An Emergency Response Plan (ERP)—also known as an Emergency Management Plan—outlines how you will respond to an emergency at your event. It should be developed in consultation with NSW Police Force, NSW Fire Brigades/NSW Rural Fire Service and Ambulance Service of NSW (see 4) and other relevant emergency services.

The ERP should clearly identify one suitable person who is responsible for managing the emergency response at the event. That person’s contact details should be given to all those who may be involved in responding to an emergency.

Your event’s characteristics will determine the contents of your ERP. Some possible inclusions are:

  • an assessment of the kind of emergencies that could occur, their likelihood, and how the risk of such occurrences can be reduced
  • the role of the event coordination centre (where the event’s real-time progress and communications are monitored, and key decision-making takes place), who will be represented there and the technology available (such as computers, software, phones, phone lines and radios)
  • a site plan, with grid references, identifying access and evacuation routes, and the location of first aid facilities
  • a chain of command identifying who is responsible for decision-making, such as when decision-making lies with emergency response agencies rather than with the event organiser
  • a description of roles performed by those involved with an emergency response
  • the evacuation procedure, which should identify those personnel who can authorise an evacuation, and the location of evacuation exits and meeting areas
  • an emergency medical plan, that includes the contact details of relevant hospitals prepared for a major incident, and that has been developed in consultation with the local Ambulance Service and first aid providers
  • the arrangements for minor on-site emergencies not requiring external help
  • an emergency communications plan.

The emergency communications plan should outline:

  • how to contact emergency services (always dial 000 first)
  • communication protocols during an emergency (such as how, and to whom, incidents are reported and logged)
  • coded messages for incidents, such as:
    • Red – fire or smoke
    • Orange – evacuation
    • Yellow – internal emergency
    • Blue – medical
    • Brown – external emergency
    • Purple – bomb or substance threat
    • Black – personal threat

(Avoiding words such as “bomb” or “fire” will help minimise panic in any event patrons who overhear a report being made.)

  • who else needs to be contacted in an emergency such as: - the family of anyone involved in a serious incident - employees, volunteers, contractors, etc. - the media
  • who are the key stakeholders (with contact details)
  • the mode of contacting key stakeholders, e.g. two-way radio, mobile phone, email, etc.
  • who will respond to media enquiries
  • how to communicate with people attending the event.

When completed, copies of your ERP should be provided to:

  • emergency services
  • local council (an ERP may be required when submitting an application to stage your event)
  • any other agencies working with you to stage the event, e.g. NSW Roads and Maritime Services, State Transit Authority of NSW, etc.
  • staff/volunteers/contractors (within a pre-event briefing)
  • suppliers who will be present at the event.

Next - 6.5 Occupational health and safety

Department of Premier and Cabinet